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Full text of "The artist's married life;"

Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/artistsmarriedli01sche 



THE 



ittorneb Cife; 

BEING THAT OF 

Albert Ditrer. 

ftranslatetr from tfje ^Sevutan of 
Heopolti Scljefet, 

BY 

MRS. J. R. STODART. 



REPRINTED FROM THE LONDON EDITION. 



BOSTON AND CAMBRIDGE: 

JAMES MUNROE & COMPANY. 

MDCCCXLIX. 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1848, bf 

JAMES MUNROE & CO., 
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts. 



AN DOVER . 
J. U FLAGS AND W H. WARDWELL, 

STEREOTTPERS AND PRINTERS. 



TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE. 



The Novels of Schefer are not much 
known in this country, nor have any 
of them, so far as I know, been trans- 
lated into English. The following, 
after the manner of Sir Walter Scott's 
" Tales of my Landlord," purports to 
be an old manuscript intrusted by Al- 
bert Diirer on his deathbed to his friend 
Pirkheimer, with instructions that it 
should be given to the world when all 
those to whom its contents might 
cause pain, were no more. The idea 
may have been suggested to the au- 
thor by the words of Diirer himself ; 
for he concludes an account of the 



iv 



death of his father by saying — " As I 
have described at length in another 
book." Of this book, only one torn 
leaf was found, marked page 19. It is 
written in very old German, and con- 
tains a short account of the death of 
his father and mother ; of a remark- 
able event which happened in the 
year 1503, and which he designates 
as " the greatest miracle I ever saw in 
all my life," when suddenly the figure 
of the cross was seen on the persons 
of many individuals at the same time, 
especially on children ; that on ac- 
count of its singularity he had made a 
drawing of one which appeared on his 
own maid-servant Susanna, and which 
so terrified her that she wept and la- 
mented, thinking it would be the cause 
of her death ; of having seen a comet 



V 



in the heavens ; and also how he had 
been enabled to pay all his debts con- 
tracted in Venice, besides purchasing 
many articles of furniture, new dresses, 
and various domestic utensils, with a 
large sum of money he had received 
for one of his works ; — all quite in ac- 
cordance with the events narrated in 
the following pages. 

This fragment, together with a jour- 
nal of his travels in the Netherlands 
with his wife and Susanna, letters to 
Pirkheimer and other friends, and va- 
rious interesting details, is given in a 
small volume published in 1828 by 
Dr. Friedrich Campe, a citizen of 
Niirnberg, entitled " Relics of Albert 
Durer." By it I find that the leading 
facts in the life of the great painter are 
closely adhered to by the novelist. 



vi 



The history of the little Agnes, how- 
ever, must be imaginary; unless in- 
deed Schefer is indeed correct in say- 
ing, that from her early death, and 
having been scarcely known among 
men, the memory of her had passed 
away. I should also mention that 
Campe gives some poetic effusions 
from the pen of Diirer; — but truth 
obliges me to say, that though a mas- 
ter in the art of painting, he seems to 
have been but a journeyman in the 
sister art of poetry. 

In the journal, he tells of the man- 
ner in which he and his wife and Su- 
sanna were entertained at Antwerp by 
the painters and their wives; of the 
silver service and the extravagantly 
fine dinner, and how they were con- 
ducted home late at night by all the 



vii 



company carrying torches ; also at Bru- 
ges how he was entertained with like 
magnificence, an account of which he 
concludes by saying that more than 
sixty persons accompanied him home 
with many torches. He mentions 
having been present at a banquet given 
by the Emperor Charles V. to the King 
of Denmark (his brother-in-law), and 
also at one given by the King to the 
Emperor and Margaret (Governess of 
the Netherlands) in return. In refer- 
ence to the latter, his words are — " He 
invited me, and I ate with them there." 
Honours were heaped on him wherev- 
er he went, also costly presents of wine 
and other articles of luxury. He tells 
of the storm he encountered on the 
coast, after having left his wife at Ant- 
werp, and of the numerous pictures 



viii 



he gave away , to the Bishop of Bam- 
berg, who invited him to his house 
and paid for him at the inn ; to the 
King of Denmark, and many others. 
It seems, indeed, as the novelist says, 
to have been his delight to give plea- 
sure to every one. But his journey to 
the Netherlands was nearly fruitless 
in all but honours. Margaret, es- 
pecially, considered him richly re- 
warded by fair words for many works 
he had executed for her, and others he 
had presented to her besides. 

In this little volume Campe pub- 
lishes a remarkable letter of Pirkhei- 
mer, printed from his own handwriting 
and addressed to Tscherte, the Em- 
peror's architect at Vienna, in which 
he very plainly accuses Agnes of hav- 
ing been the cause of her husband's 



death. He says — * She gnawed into 
his heart that " she gave him no 
peace night or day ;" and that in con- 
sequence " he wasted away to a skele- 
ton f that she urged him to work, for 
no other reason than that he might 
make money to leave to her ; and adds 
that he (Pirkheimer) had often re- 
proved her for her conduct, and prophe- 
sied what would be the end of it : but 
these friendly warnings gained him 
nothing but ill will. All this Diirer 
seems to have borne with the utmost 
meekness, quite in conformity with 
the character drawn of him by Schefer. 
He was patient under a hard lot — a 
picture of composure throughout all 
his domestic trials. In his published 
writings, as given by Campe, there is 
not a single word of complaint to be 



i 



X 



found; but his letters to Pirkheimer 
from Venice breathe a spirit of sad- 
ness, especially in anticipation of his 
return home. In the account of his 
mother's death, he says that she had 
suffered many severe sicknesses, great 
poverty, mockery, contempt, scornful 
words, fear, and great reverses ; but he 
never says from whom she had to en- 
dure this mockery and contempt ; only 
there is no mention of Agnes having 
assisted in rendering the last duties to 
her husband's mother ; and Diirer him- 
self, after telling that his Father had 
confided her to his care, says — " Two 
years after my father's death, I took 
my mother home to my own house, 
for she had nothing more.'''' Thus Schefer 
seems to be justified in his conclusion 
that Agnes was the cause of all this. 



xi 



That he did much to please her is evi- 
dent throughout : among other things, 
while in the Netherlands he notes 
down in his journal different articles 
he had bought for her, such as fine 
ivory combs, a cage for a small green 
parrot that had been presented to her, 
and what he calls "a thin Flemish 
stuff for the head." 

From Campe's estimate of him as 
a man and an artist, we find that na- 
ture and an inquiring mind were his 
teachers; untiring patience and bound- 
less industry the genii that accom- 
panied him through life. He opened 
up his own path on all sides : we have 
to thank him for the invention of etch- 
ing ; he wrote the first work on forti- 
fication ; one on the proportions of 
the human body, one on perspective, 



Xll 



and many others besides ; he was the 
first who made rules for the art of writ- 
ing, and gave a better form to the let- 
ters ; he was about to begin a work 
on landscape painting, when death 
called him away. He was a designer, 
painter, architect, sculptor, and en- 
graver on wood as well as metal. He 
made woodcuts of the life of Christ in 
thirty-nine pieces. One of his best 
specimens in this style is St. Eustacius 
kneeling before a stag which has a 
crucifix between its horns. At Prague, 
besides his picture of Adam and Eve, 
there is one of Christ bearing the 
Cross. His own picture, which he 
sent to Raphael, came into possession 
of Giulio Romano, who placed it 
among the curiosities in the palace of 
Mantua. At Venice there is an Ecce 



xiii 



Homo : and in the gallery at Florence, 
besides his own portrait, are the repre- 
sentations of St. Philip and St. James, 
and an Adam and Eve. The people 
of Niirnberg still carefully preserve in 
the public hall his portraits of Charle- 
magne and some of the Emperors of 
the house of Austria ; also the twelve 
Apostles, whose drapery is remark- 
able ; and in the church of St. Sebal- 
dus, in which he was married, a very 
old building in the pure Gothic style, 
one part of which, St. Peter's Chapel, 
situated between the towers, dates as 
far back as the tenth century, there is 
a picture by him of the entombment 
of Christ, said to be excellent. Fuseli 
says that the colouring of Diirer went 
beyond his age, and that in easel pic- 
tures it as far excelled the oil colour 



xiv 



of Raphael in juice and breadth and 
handling, as Raphael excelled him in 
every other quality. 

He knew not what it was to envy 
other artists ; he rejoiced over every- 
thing that was good, and praised what- 
ever there was to praise. If an ill ex- 
ecuted work was brought to him, he 
said good-humouredly — " Well, the 
master has done his best." He was 
well versed in the Scriptures, and they 
furnished materials for his best repre- 
sentations. He never lent his talent 
to indecency ; his art was as pure as 
his morals. His facility was incon- 
ceivable. Bellini wished to have from 
him the pencil with which he drew 
hair so minutely ; Diirer held out to 
him a handful of every kind, telling 
him to take any one he liked, for that 



XV 



he could do it with them all. Once 
in a party of artists, when every one 
was giving a proof of his skill, Diirer 
took a piece of chalk and drew quite 
off-hand a circle on the table, telling 
them that they might bring compasses 
and measure it ; which being done, it 
was found to the astonishment of all 
present that he had hit it to a hair. 

Of his outward appearance, Campe 
says that he was well made, his chest 
manly and broad, his hands slight, his 
brow serene, his nose slightly aquiline, 
his hair dark brown, falling in natural 
curls over his shoulders, his expression 
kindly and open, and that there was 
something so pleasant in his talk, that 
he was listened to with attention and 
delight. 

He seems to have been warmly at- 



xvi 



tached to the principles of the Refor- 
mation. When he was in the Nether- 
lands in 1521, news came that Luther 
had been seized and carried off to the 
Castle of Wartburg. Thinking that 
he had fallen into the hands of his 
enemies, Diirer was overwhelmed with 
grief, and gave vent to his feelings in 
a very pathetic lamentation and prayer, 
which are given in the journal. 

The house in which Diirer lived and 
died is of very considerable dimen- 
sions, and stands at the corner of the 
street called at that time Zisselgasse, 
but now Albrecht Diirer' s Strasse, and 
is nearly opposite to one of the gates 
leading into the Imperial Castle. In 
his day it seems to have stood at the 
extremity of the city, but is now quite 
surrounded by buildings which have 



xvii 



arisen on all sides. Campe says that 
in 1826 he, as a member of the magis- 
tracy, bought for the city from the pro- 
prietor of the house a balcony where 
Diirer used to work, for which he paid 
1675 florins, and that it is carefully 
preserved as a relic. He also gives a 
letter from Louis, the present King of 
Bavaria, so well known as a liberal 
encourager of the arts, showing a high 
appreciation of Diirer as an artist, and 
proposing that a statue should be 
erected in honour of him in his native 
city. To this Campe says that such 
a letter from such a King is itself the 
best monument to the memory of the 
Artist. 

Diirer' s ancestors were Hungarians, 
inhabitants of a small village called 

Eytas, whence his grandfather Anton 

2 



xviii 



Diirer came to Niirnberg, and there 
learned the trade of a goldsmith, which 
was held in much higher repute in 
those days than it is now, and argued 
a more than ordinary advancement in 
art. His father and himself continued 
the same trade, which he pursued even 
after having become a renowned paint- 
er and engraver. His wife, who sur- 
vived him eleven years, carried on the 
business after his death; and when 
she died, it was taken up by his bro- 
ther Andreas, the only one of all his 
numerous family who survived him. 
His wife's parents died in still greater 
poverty than his own, and also in the 
midst of severe trials and reverses. 

Durer's father in noting down the 
births of his children, never mentions 
the day or the month, but just the year 



xix 



and the Saint's day on which the birth 
took place, which is indeed a common 
practice among Catholics. 

His son Albert was born on the day 
of St. Prudentius, 1471 (the 6th of 
April), on which Good Friday fell in 
that year ; and he died also on the 6th 
of April 1528, and in Passion Week; 
according to Schefer on Maunday 
Thursday. Diirer died of consump- 
tion in the 57th year of his age, Campe 
says weary of life, his body emaciated, 
and his fine aspect gone. As far back 
as 1521, he says in his journal — "In 
the third week after Easter I was 
attacked by a burning fever, together 
with great weakness, loathing, and 
headache; and, as formerly when in 
Zealand, I was again overcome by a 
strange sickness of ivhich 1 never heard 



XX 



before from any one, and this sickness I 
hare yet" He was then in the Nether- 
lands, and every page in the journal 
after this date contains entries of 
money paid for medical advice. This 
was seven years before his death ; but 
the strange sickness here mentioned 
was most probably the beginning of 
the fatal disease which brought him 
gradually down to a premature grave. 
A joint sepulchre was built for his fa- 
ther-in-law and himself in the church- 
yard of St. John ; and an epitaph, writ- 
ten by his friend and patron Pirkhei- 
mer, was inscribed on his gravestone. 
But Sandrart, who came to Niirnberg 
in 1674, and continued there till his 
death in 1688, the founder of the 
Academy of painting, and who may 
with truth be called the Winkelmann 



xx i 



of his age, was not satisfied with this 
inscription, and added two others, in 
one of which he calls Diirer " The 
prince of artists." He also caused the 
gravestone to be renewed, and placed 
it as it now stands. 

The Pirkheimers were a family of 
considerable wealth and importance 
in Niirnberg, and Diirer's friend was in 
every way the means of his advance- 
ment in early life. But Diirer himself 
was for many years in easy circum- 
stances, although he always lived with 
the utmost frugality. His disposition 
was naturally cheerful, and his con- 
versation so agreeable that his society 
was much sought after, and he was 
for many years chief magistrate of his 
native city. Pirkheimer deeply la- 



xx ii 



mented his friend, whom he only sur- 
vived three years. 

One word as to the translation. 
The volume of Schefer's Novels con- 
taining the following story, fell into my 
hands about two years ago, and seem- 
ed to me to possess very considerable 
interest ; but I was long deterred from 
attempting a translation of it, by the 
great difficulty of the task. I have not 
— I do not pretend to have executed 
it well : of this at least I am certain, 
that I have not satisfied myself I fear 
I may have erred in being too literal ; 
but I could not avoid this without frit- 
tering away what appeared to me to 
be the charm and peculiarity of the 
style. Knowing all its defects, I have 
only to plead in arrest of judgment, 



xxiii 



that it is my first attempt in the way 
of translation, that the author's style is 
extremely elliptical, and his meaning 
in many parts obscure. But I lost 
myself in my interest in the subject ; 
and have only now to hope that my 
readers will go and do likewise. 

Edinburgh, Feb. 1848. 



WILIBALD PIRKHEDIER TO THE NINETEENTH 
CENTURY, GREETING: 

Maunday Thursday had passed away into 
Night : my House was already closed. The 
Lamp shone from the arched Roof of my 
Chamber upon the Floor below : I stood 
with my hot Forehead leaning on the cool 
Panes of the stained Window, and through 
the Points of colourless Glass gazed at the 
dark Clouds as they sailed over the full 
Moon. My Soul was sorrowful, for my 
Friend, the dear Master Albert D'urer, lay on 
his Deathbed. I reflected on the course of 
our past Lives : how dear, how kind, how 
precious, he had been to me, and I to him — 
and there he lay now ! The World looked 
the same as ever ; the Walls shook not, nor 
changed, for as fixedly as I gazed on them ; 
and yet there was a Man about to pass away, 



— 26 — 



such as Niirnberg would never see again. 
Alas! and I too remained as motionless. I 
had not visited my Friend for a Year, nor 
he me ; and when I saw him at a distance 
on the street, tottering along, I shunned him, 
and had alrealy given him up as one num- 
bered with the Dead. But my Anger was 
Love towards him! Anger on account of 
the Weakness I thought I discovered in him, 
and which made him wretched ; but this he 
would never confess — he only smiled. But 
when I saw him becoming each time paler ; 
the Hand with which he pressed mine ever 
more and more wasted ; then did I bewail 
the Fate of the noble Man, " the Prince of 
Artists," as he was called. He read in my 
Eyes what my heart was bursting to say to 
him again, for I had already said it a hun- 
dred times. He always evaded the subject 
by some friendly remark ; — indeed, so accus- 
tomed was he to this, that none but a Friend, 
such as myself, could tell how much the habit 



— 27 — 



cost him. I could not look upon him thus 
going down to the Grave in the Prime of 
Life and the Maturity of his Powers, like a 
Tree when bringing forth goodly Fruit — so 
I thought it better not to see him again at all. 
He read the Heart of his Friend, and shun- 
ned me also. All this he endured, until at 
length his Heart had become thoroughly like 
unto refined Gold ; he had been changed in- 
to a mild smiling Image of Patience, and, by 
virtue of the patient Sufferings of a Lifetime, 
had this advantage over others, that he await- 
ed Death with a calm and smiling Counte- 
nance. For this I often considered him wise 
and happy ; and yet at the same time my 
Heart was rebellious. Now, however, dur- 
ing those latter Days, since he had been laid 
on his Deathbed, I had no longer any Peace. 
Often had I gone to his Door, and lifted the 
Knocker — then let it gently down again, and 
hastened away, as quickly as an old Man 
might. But if at any time I resolved not to 



— 28 — 



go to him, then my Heart was ready to burst, 
and I could find rest nowhere. As for him, 
he was satisfied with everything; nothing 
could now befal him which was not welcome 
and good; and I almost persuaded myself 
that he was equally satisfied with whatever 
I did, or left undone. 

This Evening, however, some Foreigners 
devoted to the Arts had arrived to see the 
Father and Master of the German Artists. 
They proposed to serenade him — then went 
I weeping away, and thought of the Friend 
who this very Night perhaps might depart 
thither — where the Moon was floating among 
the golden Clouds ; that Moon which still 
shone young and full over our Heads, grow- 
ing grey with years, and which almost ap- 
peared to me at that moment like a Spirit. 
I was deeply moved when I called to mind 
the tender feeling Words in which some un- 
known human Heart had found an Utter- 
ance: 



— 29 — 



Here dies a mortal — What hath Nature lost ? 
Her hundred thousand Children comfort her ; 
The Heaven with her eternal Stars remains 
Serene as was her wont ; and to the Moon 
Comes no Calamity : she still shines on. 
But he, the Man who died, he was my Friend! 
I, wretched, such a Friend find not again. 
So to the smiling Moon and Sky serene 
I weep forlorn — Alas ! without a Friend ! 

'Suddenly I heard the sound of quick Foot- 
steps on the Pavement below. I saw a fe- 
male Figure. She stood still, looked up to 
the Moon, wrung her Hands, and pressed 
them to the Temples of her reclining Head. 
Thus she stood for a long Time : then sud- 
denly recollecting herself, she approached the 
Door of my House, and knocked. The Door 
was closed. She then impatiently pulled the 
bell, and the Sound echoed throughout the 
solitary Dwelling. But the Shadow which 
fell in front of me on the Panes of Glass, had 
betrayed to me who it was. She knocked. 



— 30 — 



I remained motionless. She called out : 
Master Wilibald! — Pirkheimer ! Senator! 
Master Imperial Counsellor! — I smiled scorn- 
fully. The Voice was the Voice of the beau- 
tiful Agnes, the Wife of my dying Friend 
Albert — therefore I hearkened not. Then, 
heated and impatient as she was, she knock- 
ed in with the palm of her Hand one of my 
most beautiful Panes of painted Glass, which 
I would not have given for a hundred Flo- 
rins. Are you asleep ? she then called in to 
me with her beautiful Voice ; are you dream- 
ing? Your Friend, your Albert, is at the 
point of Death, and entreats you to come to 
him. Ah ! he was a good Man after all ! 
These words, he was ! pierced me to the 
Heart. They spoke of the Living as al- 
ready among the Dead — and, infected by her 
warmth, I struck out another Pane of Glass 
with the Hand that held my bonnet, which 
made Mistress Agnes start back. God will 
judge you! muttered L But -I come. 



— 31 — 



Quickly, then ! she exclaimed, and disap- 
peared : 

I heard a Window shut over my Head — 
my unfortunate sick Sister Clara, in former 
times a Nun, but who had now returned to 
dwell under my Roof, she too had listened 
to all this! Oh Heavens! the poor dear 
loving One, how would she feel, now that 
Albert was dying ! 

I left everything as it was, scarcely wait- 
ing to secure the House, and hurried away 
to the Corner- House at the Zissel-Gate to 
my Friend Albert. I could scarcely support 
myself even by clinging to the smooth time- 
worn Railing of the Stairs ; and was still 
standing before the Door of his spacious 
Chamber, which lay towards the right Hand, 
when suddenly I was overpowered by a 
Flood of bitter Tears : I restrained myself, 
dried my Eyes and Cheeks, and then enter- 
ed gently — gently approached the Bed. He 
appeared to slumber. 



— 32 — 



At his Feet, in a Niche in the Wall, two 
wax-lights were burning before a Picture. 
It was that of the Master's little Daughter in 
her Coffin, watched over by an Angel hold- 
ing a Palm Branch, who, only half visible 
from the left side, bent over the small sweet 
Face of the Child. But the Face of the 
Angel was that of the Mother of the Child, 
the beautiful Agnes in the bloom of Youth, 
with an expression of genuine Sorrow and 
yet of saintlike Hope faithfully depicted on 
it. On the Coffin were painted three large 
Brazen Shields, the centre one of which re- 
presented the Countenance of the Father, 
Master Albert himself, with his Eyes closed. 
The Shield at the Head of the Child bore 
the Face of Albert's Mother Barbara ; and 
the one at the Feet that of her Husband, the 
Child's Grandfather. Here, then, had the 
loving Master thus sadly and beautifully 
conjoined all who were dearest to him on 
Earth. 



— 33 — 



Perhaps he might just now have been 
contemplating that Picture. 

I gazed on him mournfully. There rested 
on the red silk Coverlet of the Bed that Hand 
formerly so beautiful, so soft, so slight — but 
how powerless now! There it now rested 
too surely for ever ! His Brow was as se- 
rene, and the expression of his Countenance 
as pleasing and open as ever. His slightly 
aquiline Nose was still, as it had ever been, 
expressive of that calm Courage which seem- 
ed to have been given him for the purpose of 
Endurance alone. His ample Hair hung on 
each side in Curls on his Shoulders; but it 
was no longer dark-brown as it had formerly 
been ; it was now grey. The Beard alone, 
which covered the Chin, and descended till 
it touched the middle of the Throat, was yet 
dark. His ben'gn Eye was gently closed. — 
I sighed. 

He is not asleep, said Susanna, the Mas- 
ter's faithful Attendant, now grown old in his 

3 



— 34 — 



service, and who had noiselessly approached 
me, I knew not from whence ; he has been 
longing much to see you ! 

Art thou come at last ? said Albert, smiling, 
but without opening his eyes. He held out 
his Hand towards me, but not to me, for I 
gave him mine, and immediately he opened 
his Eyes wide. — I thought it was Agnes ! 
sighed he, almost inaudibly; and behold! it 
is my Friend, my Wilibald! She — she is 
afraid to stay with me, as if Death could ap- 
proach Men visibly! Ah! he comes from 
the Depths within — out of our Life! Be- 
lieve me, Wilibald, that is the doing of the 
Lord. He alone can do it ; such is His Will. 
So let it be ! No one can kill Angels — we 
die, because we are mortal. Also no one 
can destroy ns, neither suddenly nor grad- 
ually; he can only shorten Life, nought else, 
and that is doing little or nothing. 

He? or She ? Whom dost thou mean, thou 
ever excellent One ? asked I significantly. 



— 35 — 



I no longer mean any one, said he in a 
tone of resignation. But that thou also 
shouldst no longer accuse any one — that do 
I owe to her, and to thee, yea to myself. 
Man, who stands in need of Grace, does 
well to be just. This is in his own Power. 

He now gave me a Key from the golden 
Chain which hung around his Neck. In 
doing this, it occurred to him to take the 
Chain off altogether, and lay it aside ; and as 
it fell link by link from his failing Hand, with 
a gentle sound on the little Table beside him, 
I felt nearly frozen, and thought, Thus do 
worldly Honours depart from us ! 

Long mayst thou wear thine ! resumed 
Albert. In Life no one can be blamed for 
acting reasonably. Here is now the Key. 
Take from my Chest, not my Book of Travels, 
not my Journal, these thou knowest already 
— but the History of my Married Life. Read ! 
— preserve it. Leave it in Trust to some 
widely-spread honourable Family. When 



— 36 — 



none of my own are remaining, when these 
Leaves have become matter of History alone, 
when they are no longer the " Goads and 
Nails"* of the Preacher, then will its genu- 
ine Truth yet speak to the Heart; and if it 
make only one Wife more patient when need 
is, only one Husband more careful to per- 
form what he vowed to his Wife before God ; 
then have I not suffered in vain, as I in vain 
suffered. For whatever makes us better — is 
good. And everything can do this, if we so 
will it, if we understand it aright. 

Good Master — will I not call thee, said I 
with emotion, for this epithet hath a Greater 
only permitted to the Greatest ! but Faithful, 
Gentle, Noble Master, Teacher, Man, and 
Friend ; these will Posterity recognize in thee, 
as my Tears do now. 

He changed the subject playfully, and said, 
If thou wilt trust me with a little Billet to thy 

* Ecclesiastes xii. 11. 



— 37 — 



alas! too-early-lost Crescenzia — then write! 
this Night it will be deliv red. It is said the 
Dead have this power ; but they are silent 
Messengers who indeed bring no answer. 
For this then thou must pardon me! He 
smiled, and pressed the Key between my 
Hands with both of his, whilst we gazed in- 
to each other's Eyes. 

His words had awakened in me an inex- 
pressible longing after my excellent Wife. 
Ah ! she was good — hence the danger ; since 
what is good — is divine. Ah ! she was good 
and — gone. I lived ! Albert was dying — his 
Agnes left — through whom his Life had been 
shortened, but who could not rob him of it, 
as he himself solemnly affirmed. 

I found the Manuscript he had mentioned ; 
I held its few Leaves in my Hand — how 
heavy they felt ! as I lifted them sighing, and 
with a glance at my Friend. Wearied by 
the exertion of speaking, he had fallen into a 
Slumber, his Hands folded on the Coverlet. 



— 38 — 



Exhausted also by night- watching, Susanna, 
with her Head buried in her blue apron, sat 
in her Master's velvet Arm- Chair, and slept. 

And thus, surrounded only by Sleepers and 
by Pictures on the Wall, I sat down alone at 
the large Table with the green Cover, trim- 
med the Lamp, drew it nearer, unfolded and 
read. What I then thought, I afterwards 
noted down, adding small asterisks, and also 
the initials of my name, a W. and a P., to 
each Note. So much for thee, dear Reader, 
in the Days which to me are no Days ; only 
absolute Time ; only mysterious Love and 
Blessedness, and Light and Glory — but with- 
out thy Sun ! — Yet read ! 



MARRIED LIFE OF MASTER A. D. 



FOR DEVOUT DISCIPLES OF THE ARTS, PRUDENT 
MAIDENS, AS WELL AS FOR THE PROFIT AND 
INSTRUCTION OF ALL CHRISTENDOM, 
GIVEN TO THE LIGHT. 

" To be right in a wrong way — is wrong." 

Should the above Initials of the Artist, in 
after Years, be still known among Men, then 
will they also know the Name of the Artist, 
and some may even be led to inquire as to 
the actual Life of the Man. For the Artist 
has a double Existence ; one in Imagination 
and in his Works, the other as a Man in his 
Home ; and each pervades, completes, and 
supports the other, and neither is long, with- 
out the other, good and available. Should 



40 THE MARRIED LIFE 



this Life, then, so deeply rooted in the Earth, 
beeome matter of curiosity — and when his 
Works have been contemplated, the Life of 
the Master should be inquired after — no Ac- 
count founded on any solid Basis could be 
given ; for those who knew about his earthly 
Life were of Earth like himself. But they 
might perhaps hear of the Sufferings of the 
good Master ; might perhaps accuse him of 
having been no faultless Husband, and her 
no praiseworthy Wife. God forbid! — and 
may these Words interpose like a Sword, or 
as the Angel with the flaming Sword before 
this lost — Paradise! The Fantasies of the 
Master have passed away with his Soul ; his 
Works bear evidence of his Feelings, of his 
Conceptions of Nature, of his Views and 
Capacities; nay, all these they in a great 
measure themselves are ; much also of his 
Life is mingled and inseparably intertwined 
with these, or runs through them like a 
Woof; of this, therefore, let nothing be said : 



OF ALBERT DURE R. 



41 



Sentence has already been passed. But the 
following was written by his better self, when 
having fancied himself in Suffering, he thus 
from the Fancy actually suffered, and in con- 
quering the Fancy, conquered also the Suf- 
fering. This then was his Consolation : to 
discover the Goodness, the Integrity of his 
Wife ; to unveil her deeply-concealed Love, 
and with delight to acknowledge it ! and this 
gave him not only Courage, but Joyfulness ; 
so that his own Love had again free scope, 
and what he had thought and felt in the se- 
cret Depths of his ever-imaginative Mind, 
afterwards passed into his Fantasies, uncon- 
sciously moved him to create, and to his own 
surprise became embodied in his Works. 
Thus does the wiser also become the better 
Artist. His Wisdom, however, is calm Se- 
renity and powerful Love. He who beholds 
all things clear as in a Glass, and in all the 
Productions of his creative Power sees only 
a reflection of himself and of his Love — he 



42 



THE MARRIED LIFE OF DURER. 



it is who is the good, the happy, yea the high- 
est Artist. We are but Journeymen.* 

Everything well considered, however, it is 
Treason to the World strictly to conceal the 
Workings of the inner Man. The mighty 
Events in the outward World, Deeds of Vio- 
lence, Murders and Outrages, these serve on- 
ly to startle and to confound — Men scarcely 
comprehend them! and fortunate for them 
that it is so! They are so rarely for the 
profit of Individuals ; — should they then be 
perpetuated by means of the Arts through 
long Ages of the World for many Genera- 
tions! Far from it! — better far perpetuate 
the Human, the Ordinary, yea the Everyday ! 
for these after all are not so evident as most 
people fancy. In this way is brought to light 
what is in Man, and the Minds of Men are 
thereby advanced and elevated! and if all 
that comes to Light be not beautiful, still it 
is true, and leads to Peace and Happiness. 



* Students of the Arts, Pupils.— W. P. 



HOW MASTER ALBERT TOOK UNTO HIMSELF 
A WIFE. 

The Countryman he wooes his Land ; 
The Noble Rank and high Command ; 
The Workman Home and Skill of Hand; 
The Merchant he strives Wealth to gain; 
The Painter's bound in Beauty's Chain ; 
But all a Wife seek to obtain. 

At Whitsunday of the Year 1490, Albert 
set out on his Travels for the study of the 
Fine Arts ; at Whitsunday of the Year 1494 
he heard again the Stroke of the Numb erg 
Clock. 

The Joy of Meeting is well worth the Pain 
of Separation. The Father had bought his 
Son a House, had given him his own Su- 
sanna, a poor adopted Child, as Housekeep- 
er; had provided the Rooms thriftily with 
household Furniture ; Contentment and Hap- 



44 HOW MASTER ALBERT TOOK 



pinessj Industry and Art — these he brought 
with him; and now was he in very deed to 
becQine a Painter in the City of the Twelve 
Hills. His Father took him, dressed in his 
best, first of all to the House of his Godfather 
Anton Koburger, who took great Delight in 
him ; afterwards to all the Members of that 
Body, of which his Father was also one. 
From the House of Master Michael Wohlge- 
muth, the Painter, Engraver, and Woodcut- 
ter, with whom Albert for three Years, begin- 
ning in the Year 1486, had diligently and 
painfully studied, because he had had much 
to endure from his fellow-workmen, they 
crossed the Street to the House of the lively 
Harp-player and Singer, Harms Frei, who 
was also an Optician. But among the most 
bewitching Works in the heavenly Work- 
shop of the heathen God Sephastus, could no 
such living Miracle have stood, as was now 
to be seen in the House of Hanns Frei, in 
the Person of his Daughter Agnes, a young 



UNTO HIMSELF A WIFE. 45 



Numberg Maiden of fifteen, who was play- 
ing on the Harp. 

Is it possible that Numberg contains such 
a beautiful Maiden ? said he to himself. I 
thought I had left them all in Italy, beyond 
Mestre. Have I got back my Senses and 
my Heart ? as if suddenly borne after me in- 
to my home by a Dove ! Have I my Eyes 
again ? The Voice which I heard before the 
Door was opened, was it not one of those 
Angel voices ? Only this modest Blush on 
the lily Cheeks was not to be seen there ! 
nor the timid Eye turned towards the ground, 
covered by a large Eyelid like a Bell-flower! 
and as if bordered by long Eyelashes ! What 
a Picture ! — what a Delight — a Wife ! a 
Heaven upon Earth — in Numberg ! Oh 
thou dear native Town ! 

These thoughts and Feelings passed as 
quickly through the Mind of the young Mas- 
ter, as a golden Cloud flies through the 
Heavens ; but they left a shadow behind : 



46 



HOW MASTER ALBERT TOOK 



for Love is no Cloud, but the Polar Star, 
amidst the splendour and radiance of the 
Northern-light.* 

He shall paint thee, dear Agnes, said Al- 
bert's Father. — She raised her Eyes, and 
looked gloomily at me.f 

Now, Daughter, said Master Frei, do not 
look quite so Angry about the matter — there 
will be time enough for that in Master Al- 
bert's Dwelling. 

For Painting ? or for looking Angry ? 
said Agnes to him, quickly changing colour 
from the most glowing Red to snow-white 
Paleness. She looked meanwhile somewhat 
smilingly at the young Albert, and at the 
same time gently shook her head, as if warn- 
ing him not to believe what her Father had 
said. For that was quite another matter, 
and must take place and unfold itself in a 
very different manner. The Father was 



* This star is also often called the little Bear. — W. P. 
t This " me " hetrays the Autobiography. — W. P. 



UNTO HIMSELF A WIFE. 



47 



blowing the Rose open violently ; but genial 
Warmth and Dew alone could unfold it by- 
degrees, and cause it to open its Heart and 
give forth its Perfume, so that it might not 
fade away before next morning, leaving no 
Perfume behind. 

All was now made evident to Albert, when 
his Father said to the Father of Agnes, I 
have done my part, I have given him a tole- 
rable Establishment; the young Wife will 
do the rest according to her own wishes and 
desires. For all married Pairs have their own 
fancies, as to ho^y the Table must stand, and 
where the Bed, so that the Cradle may not 
knock against it : we and our better Halves 
have also enjoyed this Right in our Day. 

Thou shalt have two hundred Florins for 
thy portion, my Daughter, said Father Frei, 
smiling. And now join hands ! We have 
betrothed you already in our own Minds; 
let it be done now also in reality, in order 
that we may see you ratify what we from 



48 HOW MASTER ALBERT TOOK 



old Friendship and before God have pur- 
posed. 

Albert could not think of saying No to 
such a beautiful Creature as Agnes, nor yet 
could Agnes to him. She should have given 
him her Hand, but stood still like an im- 
moveable Work of Sephastus, grave Bashful- 
ness depicted in her nobly-formed Counte- 
nance. Her Father made a Sign to her ; — 
without moving, she allowed the Youth of 
twenty-three to take her Hand, but she press- 
ed his so suddenly and so vehemently, that 
he started, and gazed into the eyes of the in- 
explicable Child. She sighed, her youthful 
Bosom stood upheaved from suppressed 
breathing, Tears streamed from her dark 
Eyelids ; 3he disengaged herself and hasten- 
ed away. 

It is just the Nature of all such, said Mas- 
ter Frei, comforting him. He pressed him 
to his Bosom, and gave him now his Bless- 
ing alone. — She has had hers already by her 



UNTO HIMSELF A WIFE. 49 



Obedience to my Will, said he. Master 
Wohlgemuth has presented you both with 
Rings. Therefore be of good cheer /• and 
go into the Garden, and persuade the little 
Maiden there to take one of them — or lay 
it down beside her. It is not the Nature of 
such to leave it lying. From you certainly 
not! 

Albert did as he was bidden. Agnes was 
reclining in an Arbour, her Head resting on 
the Bosom of her Sister, who looked at him, 
and smiled thoughtfully, but at the same 
time as one who was much offended. Asrnes 
did not rise, but she raised her Eyes to her 
Bridegroom, and they rested full on him, and 
she seemed desirous of keeping his Look 
firmly fixed on herself. For beside the Sisters 
sat another beautiful Maiden called Clara, 
who was the Sister of Wilibald Pirkheimer, 
as Albert learned forthwith. When, how- 

* Wohlgemuth means "Be of good cheer." — Translator's 
Note. 

4 



50 HOW MASTER ALBERT TOOK 



ever, Agnes saw how he gazed at the Maid- 
en and as an Artist dwelt with Delight on her 
fair Countenance and delicate Form, she 
drew in her Ring- Finger. But when Clara 
took hold of her little Hand, Agnes seemed 
to have no longer Power to withhold it, and 
Clara placed the Ring gravely on her Friend's 
Hand. Then they all three arose and walk- 
ed away, Agnes in the middle ; meanwhile 
Albert looked on the Ground, then glanced 
after them, then looked down again, and re- 
mained so standing with closed Eyes, and 
full of contending Emotions. 

His Father was the first to rouse the 
Dreamer. Well, my Son, have I not chosen 
well for thee ? asked he with a satisfied air. 

Well ! beautifully ! — and yet not well ! 
replied he. 

Happy, said his Father, are the Parents 
who can rely on their Sons and Daughters, 
and bring them up well, so that a Father's 
Will should not only be salutary for them, 



UNTO HIMSELF A WIFE. 51 



but appear to be so to them. Does not the 
Father of us all choose Time and Place for 
us ? Does He not provide all that is to meet 
our Eye in our own Days? There is no 
other Leaf, nor Cloud, nor Wife, nor Child, 
nor Husband, to be seen, than those he has 
chosen for us. And will He change them 
forsooth on our account ? He creates them 
according to His own will, and yet He de- 
votes them to our use. What then can have 
been His Intention ? He has loved us only 
— designs that we should love Him, and that 
what He has created should be worthy of 
our Love, just because it is His Gift! — My 
Son, be sure to let that be your Thought in 
Everything: think thus of thy Father; and 
also of thy young Wife ; and if it be not so, 
still it might and should be so. My Father 
pointed out a Maiden to me ; I reverenced 
his Will, and she became my Wife. As I 
became reconciled to her name — for she was 
called Barbara — then being reconciled, began 



52 



HOW MASTER ALBERT TOOK 



to love it, because I loved her, because my 
Father loved her — so wilt thou also love the 
beautiful, singular, modest, prudish Agnes. 
She will be Faithful to thee, for her Mother 
is an excellent Woman. He who chose for 
me, however, was only my Master, Hierony- 
mus Haller, my Father in the Arts: thine is 
thy own Father ! 

She is only fifteen years old ! said Albert 
mildly. 

My Son, said the Father, that is the right 
Age at which a Man attaches to himself not 
only the first awakening of the Heart, of the 
Eyes, and of all the Senses, but even the 
Dreams of his Wife, and her pure and single 
Love. And should she afterwards think and 
feel otherwise — behold ! she is already bound 
by rosy Fetters ! Little Arms are twined 
around her Neck, her House demands her 
Care during the Day, Night calls for Repose. 
Thus she grows up with her Children, and 
when she sees in her Boys and Girls the 



UNTO HIMSELF A WIFE. 



53 



Love they bear to their Father, she cannot 
fail to learn it from them! and when they 
cling around his Knees, and she twines her 
Arms around his Neck, and both look down 
on the beloved little Ones whom the one 
owes to the other alone — what must she feel ? 
And mark well, — nothing is strange to her; 
no Allurement has Novelty to offer, no No- 
velty anything better or more blessed than 
what she may enjoy in Peace and Tranquil- 
lity, giving Thanks to God! 

I am only three and twenty years old, said 
Albert again. 

My Son, said he, that is the right age, at 
which a Wife may hope to have her Hus- 
band long spared to her. The Husband is 
a Father ; Years do not fail him in the be- 
ginning, as they do alas! at last; when such 
a want leads only to Disappointment and 
Misery. I married a Wife of fifteen, when 
I was already older than thou art. Thou 
knowest I have dedicated eighteen Children 



54 HOW MASTER ALBERT TOOK 



to the Lord at the baptismal Font ; that is a 
Harvest for me in Heaven ! I have brought 
up eighteen human Beings I know not how; 
that is a Harvest for me on Earth! We 
were young with the Mother — Suffering was 
light, Happiness was Felicity ! The Mother 
took as much pleasure in decking herself as 
her Girls ; the Father was brisk and nimble, 
playing about with his little Boys, willing to 
cover the Ball with network, or to fly the 
Kite. We were only like an elder Sister 
and Brother ; that thou thyself knowest. 
And if thy Love to me was so much greater 
than that of other Children to their Parents, 
consider that it arose hence, that when thou 
wert older, I continued to be thy Friend, yea 
thy Confident ; consider that it arose hence, 
that thou indeed didst become older, but I — 
not old ! so it ought to be — then is the mar- 
ried State not a sorrowful State ;* then the 



* The Germans have a Proverb: — "Ehestand ist Wehes- 



UNTO HIMSELF A WIFE. 



55 



Father's Head does not ache from the noise 
of his Children ; he does not strike them at 
random and without feeling, nor call desiring 
them to sit still and be quiet — Education, nor 
Fear — Obedience ! then Boys do not weep 
or sneak around a grey-haired old Man, and 
wander over the Earth when deprived of him 
without Counsel or Support. Then he rocks 
the Cradle of his Grandchildren! — Oh the 
Delight of Man ! and though he should de- 
part hence, the Trees still bloom around, and 
blessed is his House! Therefore — Early 
woo, never rue. 

These fatherly Words overcame the loving 
Son ; his Father's Will became his Will, and 
he hoped that it would also become his Hap- 
piness. For his Agnes was beautiful — only 
he knew not how he had acquired the Trea- 
sure, since Angels are no longer to be seen 
on earth. It had come to him so suddenly, 



tand:" " The married state is a sorrowful state." — Trans- 
lator's Note. 



56 HOW MASTER ALBERT. ETC. 



but so much the more wished for, and his 
Heart, softened by the contemplation of 
Beauty in Italy, wound itself around the 
divine Form of Agnes, who had been sent to 
him as it were from Heaven, by the Hand of 
his Father. But the beautiful Maiden, who 
appeared 1o be favourable towards him, yet 
felt injured in womanly Dignity, hurt in the 
Purity of her Love, because she had been 
constrained to yield him her Hand, before 
having given him an Answer or a Smile, and 
was angry with him that he had so received 
such a Gift; and angry with herself that her 
Heart nevertheless allured her towards the 
amiable Youth. Love desires Freedom, and 
even the appearance of Constraint causes 
Unhappiness, debases — the nobler the Heart 
is* 



* Here a good Feeling lay as a good Foundation to a 
tottering Building. — W. P. 



THE HONEYMOON. 



Agnes's Period of Betrothment lasted only- 
seven "Weeks, till the Day of the Seven 
Brothers.*" The Decision of the Parents that 



* The 10th of July. These seven brothers and their 
mother, St. Felicitas, suffered martyrdom in the second cen- 
tury, in the reign of the Emperor Antoninus Pius. She was 
a noble and pious Christian widow, resident at Rome, and 
employed herself wholly in prayer, fasting, and works of 
charity. Ey her example and that of her whole family, 
many were induced to renounce the worship of false gods, 
which so exasperated the heathen priests, that they com- 
plained to the Emperor, who being somewhat superstitious 
himself, sent an order to Publius the Prefect to take care to 
satisfy the priests and appease the gods in this matter. 
The mother and her sons were therefore brought before 
him, but refusing to sacrifice to the gods, the sons were all 
condemned to different deaths, and their mother was be- 
headed four months after having witnessed and rejoiced in 
the martyrdom of her children. St. Eelicitas is commemo- 
rated in the Roman Martyrology on the 23d of November, 



58 



THE HONEYMOON. 



she was to be Albert's, unsettled the whole 
calm Course of her Life ; and now there 
could never more be any bright Beginning, 
Foundation, or Progress in Love. Right is 
no Law for Love ; it even offends the most 
delicate Mind. Therefore he never spoke of 
his relation to her; and when she, in the 
Levity of Youth, seemed to have forgotten 
all, then she opened her whole Soul to him, 
and he read deeply concealed Affection, yea 
even struggling Love, in her Eyes, which 
only the more suddenly and treacherously 
broke forth, and drew her nearer and nearer 
to him, even into his Arms, till Lip clung to 
Lip ; — then she tore herself away from him, 
and was for whole Days only the more grave 
and silent. 

On the Wedding-Day he appeared before 
her, for the first time for many Days, in 



and her sons on the 10th of July. See Butler's "Lives of 
the Saints." — Translator. 



THE HONEYMOON. 59 

Bridegroom's Attire, and found her ready 
dressed in bridal pomp. Thus everything 
seemed to be right, now and for ever. From 
that time all went on in the natural order of 
things. 
It rained. 

Even that did not put her out of humour, 
for Rain on the bridal Day promises to the 
young pair — Riches. 

And now the beautiful Agnes stood before 
the Altar in the Church of St. Sebaldus. 
One of her Cheeks glowed purple red ; the 
other, the right, which was turned towards 
him, was so much the paler. Thus to the 
audience she appeared as if ashamed and 
bashful. Albert, however, during the singing 
of the Hymn, looked at the carved work of 
the Altar, and the old stained Glass in the 
Windows, and greeted here and there with 
a slight nod some old Friend of his youth, 
who saw him again there that Day for the 
first time, and joyfully greeted him from 



60 



THE HONEYMOON. 



among the Crowd. Agnes reproved him for 
this by a slight touch of the Arm, as showing 
a want of pious Concentration of Thought 
on the important Step — the Spring's Equi- 
nox or the Solstice of our Life. 

But how remarkable were the Words 
which the Godly Man chose as a Text for 
his ceremonial Address! and yet how deep 
and beautiful, by means of the Expounding 
and Application of them to us — and our 
small Hopes! for they were these:-; — 

" Be not forgetful to entertain Strangers, 
for thereby some have entertained Angels un- 
awares/'* 

The Bride gazed at her future Husband, 
whom she ought to entertain like an Angel ; 
he smiled upon her whom he was to enter- 
tain as an Angel, and the looks of both sunk 
to the ground before each other. 

They received many and distinguished 



* Some ! I have done so. — W. P- 



THE HONEYMOON. 



61 



Guests from the City at the House of the 
Bride, and both accepted of the Congratula- 
tions with visible emotion. The Bride sat 
at table next to the Bridegroom with a stiff 
demeanour. She would not allow the Myr- 
tle Wreath to be taken off her little stubborn 
Head, and an old Lady excused her by say- 
ing, Everything has its time ! — Thereupon 
Agnes tore it herself from among her Locks. 

God preserve us! muttered the horrified 
old Lady. 

At the end of the last course we heard a 
Cry, which proceeded from under the Table. 
It turned out that it had been uttered by my 
best Friend : his Face was bleeding ; he 
went composedly towards the Door. Agnes 
half laughed, half cried. 

I arose and followed him. He was sitting 
on the stone Seat under the Arch of the 
Doorway. 

It is an old Custom — which I certainly 
cannot commend — that some one should dis- 



62 THE HONEYMOON. 



tribute to every one of the Guests a little bit 
of the Bride's Garter, said he ; but, Albert, 
you may rely upon this — you will suffer 
much, but you will have a faithful Wife. 

The Bridegroom excused her, not without 
smiling. 

But the other proceeded : — For whatever 
Woman, and more especially a young one, 
thinks so peculiarly, and thrusts from her so 
vigorously with her little bold Foot an honest 
old Custom, thinking nothing of Gibes and 
Uproar, she is in my opinion worthy of par- 
ticular Honour. I am myself amazed, now 
I think of it. If a Custom prevails around 
us as clearly and evidently as Sunshine, then 
it is still a valid and living one. But things 
are changed now! The World judges of 
the propriety of these, and sometimes takes 
advantage of them perversely — and fettered 
by the restraint of Custom, which no Wo- 
man can openly throw off without exciting 
Laughter, many make grievous Sacrifices 



THE HONEYMOON. 63 



thereto ! — The bold Bride is in the right — I 
prophesy you Happiness and Unhappiness. 
Now Good-night! 

He then went away, his Face concealed in 
his Handkerchief, and muttering through his 
teeth. The Servant hastily seized the un- 
lighted Lantern, and carried it before him in 
a very odd manner.* 

Albert went in perplexed; some of the 
Guests crowded past him ; the Company had 
all broken up, and departed with brief and 
quiet Greetings, or with no Greeting at all. 

Thus the spacious decked-out apartment 
was now empty. The Bride still sat in her 
place, and nibbled crumbs of pastry. The 
Bridegroom placed himself beside her. She 
was silent, and he spoke not. 

I am heartily sorry ! exclaimed Hanns 
Frei, the Father-in-law, who was standing 

* The Servant was mine ! and now I must freely confess, 
it was my Nose which bled ! — W. P. 



64 THE HONEYMOON. 



by himself in the apartment. I am sure I 
cannot drink all that! The delightful Meat 
and Pastry look at me in vain, and cannot 
gain over my Heart to any feeling of com- 
passion. But I will not be deprived of the 
Grandfather's Dance ! Halloo ! strike up, 
Pipers! strike up, Fiddlers! One Man is 
still a Man. When I am tired, then you 
shall have your Holiday. 

The Music resounded. The Crowd look- 
ed in at the lighted Windows. Father Frei 
gravely led up his Wife to the Dance ; she 
obeyed with difficulty, and the somewhat 
aged Pair danced to the old Rhyme and the 
old Tune : 

When the Grandfather the Grandmother led up 
with glee, 

Then the Grandfather once more a Bridegroom 
was he ! 

A Bridegroom ! a Bridegroom ! repeated 
the Crowd at the outside of the Windows, at 
the same time clapping their Hands. The 



THE HONEYMOON. 65 



Grandfather in spe laughed and wept; the 
Mother became giddy, sat down — and the 
Marriage was over. 

Father Albert visited his Son for the first 
time on the sixth Sunday after the Marriage. 
He found him alone, sat down, looked at 
him smilingly, and said : 

Now, my dear Son, how goes it? Well? 
Thou hast now become quite another Man ; 
thou art now a Husband. Oh the Honey- 
moon ! the Honeymoon ! on it depends for 
ever the Happiness of Wedlock. If a Jacob 
serve seven Years for a Rachel, and again 
seven Years, still he only serves, still he only 
comes to know the Bride, but not the Wife. 
The Bride shows herself only as she would 
like to be seen, and so does the Bridegroom : 
there is nothing then but soft talking, smil- 
ing, complaisance, feeling and giving Delight 
— a dreamlike Condition. Happy are they 
who thus die ! yet it shall not so be, for they 
must live. But the Husband and Wife have 

5 



66 



THE HONEYMOON. 



dwelt and been educated in different Houses ; 
they have acquired different habits and even 
many peculiarities, which have taken such 
deep root within them that they cannot be 
eradicated, and which they will carry about 
with them through Life. And now the Wife 
must learn the peculiarities of her Husband, 
and bear with him ; and he in like manner 
with those of his Wife. And how is this ef- 
fected? Nature places them in the School 
of Love, and in the midst of glowing Feel- 
ings and blissful Fascination she gently dis- 
plays to each the habits and merits and man- 
ner of Existence of the other, accustoms him 
smilingly and imperceptibly to the Occupa- 
tions, and even to taste and praise the fa- 
vourite Dishes of the other, and to consider 
that which is foreign to his habits, and even 
repulsive to him, not only endurable but 
pleasant, for the sake of the Beloved. Each 
comes to the knowledge of all this during the 
blissful Dream of Love, takes it kindly, and 



THE HONEYMOON. 



67 



blends himself therewith in that rosy time 
when all is forgiven — all, even if he were the 
Child of a Murderer. And this happy Fas- 
cination, this bewitching Captivity, lasts long 
enough to stamp the Nature of the one upon 
the other, half unconsciously, but to entire 
Satisfaction. Thus then they live placidly 
together and with a perfect Understanding, 
and love each other for their Faults as well 
as for their Virtues. Is it not so, my son ? 
for Marriage is a beautiful Union, in which 
the Husband and Wife, having been joined 
for ever by Heaven, turn to the noblest Ends 
of Humanity whatever there may be that is 
peculiar in the Heart and Mind of each, all 
finely blended together by Love. 

He then looked around him in the House, 
and went into the different Apartments, found 
and greeted his Daughter-in-law, and with 
these fair and wise Words he had, according 
to his own opinion, defined and settled the 
whole Condition of the young Pair. 



68 THE HONEYMOON. 



But it was not so! Now was the Artist's 
Married Life begun ; and the question arises, 
whether even the most loving Maiden can 
thoroughly understand him. She has a Life- 
time in which to study him, as he has also 
to study himself and Life. All other Men 
are conceivable and penetrable in their Bear- 
ing and in their Mind; the Artist is a Flower 
which blooms from one Development into 
another as long as he lives. And if he shut 
up his blooming Heart, then he is dead. 
And his Works are the stamina of the Flower 
evolved into Seed, which the Wind sows 
over the Earth, and bloweth — where it list- 
eth. Therefore to be the Wife of such an 
one, Patience is needed, and nothing can 
nurse the Plant but the heavenly Patience of 
a faithful fostering Hand. 

The beautiful Agnes had entered as it 
were into a new Sphere — a magic Sphere 
for her. There was scarcely anything she 
understood, or as to which she could take an 



THE HONKYMOON. 



69 



interest in her Husband, otherwise than as a 
gentle, careful Wife. And yet she wished to 
do so; for in her concealed Love for her 
Husband, nothing was indifferent to her 
which moved his Soul or rilled his Heart. 
And many things, so much that was enig- 
matical to her, appeared to move his Soul 
and to fill his Heart! And she alone thought 
to fill that Heart! while he appeared to know 
and silently to worship a still deeper and 
more holy Power than her and her Love, yea 
the Godly, the Immortal, the Mysterious. 
Then again everything peculiar in his inward 
bent and manner of thinking appeared so 
clearly, and yet also so doubtfully and im- 
penetrably to her Mind, to have its Founda- 
tion in the World around, and to be closely 
connected therewith, that it was often well 
with her and often seething hot. But as a 
Wife, all she cared about was his Love — of 
that alone she wished to be certain. 

She concluded, therefore, the Honeymoon 



70 THE HONEYMOON. 



in this wise, that one Night she fell sick. 
The Master was greatly alarmed. She long- 
ed for some Groundsel Tea. But nothing 
was to be found — no Frying-pan, no Chips, 
no Coals; everything seemed to have van- 
ished. Susanna appeared. And now sat 
the good Master, and held the little Pot with 
Water over the flame of the Lamp to boil, 
till it became too hot for his Fingers, and then 
Susanna held it by the Handle till it was too 
hot for her again, and willingly the Master 
took it in his turn. Thus they both sat, talk- 
ing in an undertone, and looking at each 
other with anxious Countenances, till it boil- 
ed. When, however, Susanna was gone, 
and he carried the bitter Beverage to his dear 
beautiful Agnes, there she lay laughing un- 
der the Coverlet. She flunsr her Arms round 
his Neck, and said, I only wished to see 
whether thou really carest for me ! Now 
drink thine own Groundsel, to cure thy 
Fright! And he drank, whilst she blew up- 



THE HONEYMOON. 71 



on his smarting Fingers, kissing meanwhile 
the Points of them. 

Ah ! the Sceptic ! that was certainly a 
very mischievous Deed ! — unimportant, it is 
true, yea lovely to behold, like a glittering 
Ring around a young Bough in early Spring. 
But it will become a Nest full of Caterpillars, 
and deprive the Tree of its Adornment just 
at the time when it should bloom most luxu- 
riantly. 



THE YEAR OF STREFE. 



All good men have known the blessing 
of profound Sleep. To that silent holy King- 
dom, full of Thoughts and Images from 
which they at the first as Children wonder- 
fully endowed entered into Life, they return 
every Night to refresh themselves : their Con- 
sciousness, circumscribed by Day, and which 
without Sleep would at length become small, 
narrow and pitiful, sets therein like the Sun, 
and their Mind returns every Morning reno- 
vated, strengthened, and enlarged, coming 
forth joyfully like a Bridegroom out of his 
Chamber. Even the Flowers close in the 
Evening; they sleep in the Moonlight, midst 
the Brilliancy of the Stars and the Songs of 
the Nightingales, as if these sweet Song- 
stresses were their Nurses, and in the Morn- 



THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 



73 



ing their Heart is more open, fuller, more 
fragrant. If an Artist, therefore, be deprived 
of Sleep, if he must break off his morning 
Dreams, during which he brings to the light 
of day and transfers to his waking hours what 
he has beheld in the World of Spirits, as if 
it were contraband within Earth's limits, then 
good-night to Fancy! farewell to her Works, 
sprung from the Mind, deeply felt in the 
Heart, and nourished with the innermost 
Marrow of Life! For then are they only — 
Handicraftswork, conceived in the Day, in 
the Day executed, and in the Evening for- 
gotten — Piecework, like to Nurnberg Ginger- 
bread. And to make even that, the Dough 
must ferment and ripen for three Years. 

The Master was now for the first time de- 
prived of this Morning Sleep. Now Agnes 
did not well know of what value it was to 
him; but she could not have grudged him 
this enjoyment, if she had thought it was 
as sweet to him as it was to her. She con- 



74 



THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 



sidered it only Laziness in him, but not in 
herself; for her it was Ease. However, 
young Wive3 like to sleep long — and Albert 
might think: Perhaps there ripens another 
Godly Work of our Heavenly Father in the 
sweet Slumberer midst her blissful morning 
Dreams ! So then he arose early, and thus 
was his first Blessing gone! were it not that 
he acquired another in its stead, in thus gaz- 
ing on his beautiful beloved Wife — in the 
innocent arms of Sleep, the rosy Glow of a 
holy World on her Cheek, as a visible re- 
flection of the same in the earthly Sphere — 
like a new morning Dawn on an ancient 
Godlike Statue. 

At this early period, the young Master was 
called to the house of Wilibald Pirkheimer. 
Agnes knew what was to be the object of his 
visit, so his lace Collar was not washed, nor 
yet plaited, or. in putting it on, Agnes spoilt 
it again herself. Susanna dared not venture 
to trim his black velvet Cloak, or his Shoes 



THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 



75 



with their Roses. The Master was obliged 
to do it in secret for himself. For Wilibald 
had kindly threatened to come for him him- 
self. He came and carried him off, to draw 
a Picture of his Sister Clara. This was 
what he had to do. 

He found the beautiful Maiden — surround- 
ed by lovely little Children — paler than at 
the time when she had placed the bridal 
Ring on the Finger of his Agnes in the Gar- 
den, her Eye more veiled, her demeanour 
still softer and more modest, so that he felt 
quite strange in the flower-adorned, sunny 
apartment, quite peculiarly embarrassed to 
find himself alone with her. She sat down; 
he drew the outline of her lovely Counte- 
nance ; she did not raise her Eyes — he was 
obliged to ask her to do so. She then look- 
ed at him, her whole Soul in the Glance ; 
then her Lips quivered, she became still pa- 
ler than before, she breathed softly, her Head 



76 



THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 



sunk involuntarily, till her Chin rested on 
her Bosom and formed a delicate double 
Chin. 

Albert scarcely ventured to look at her ; 
he could not help sighing. The Children 
had clung around her, and stood in like man- 
ner embarrassed ; they remained motionless, 
and also gently sighed, one after the other, 
as if they had therewith secretly infected each 
other. 

There is a Drop on thine Arm, said the 
little Girl ; pray look, Clara, how comes that 
to be there ? 

Clara arose. Do not disturb the current 
of the Master's Thoughts, said she softly, 
smiling, — nor mine either, dear Children ! 
The Drop fell from thine Eyelids ; thou hast 
certainly been weeping just now. 

I ? asked the Girl. 

No, thou ! said she to the Boy. 

I ? asked the Boy. 



THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 



77 



Well then, she said, it must have fallen 
from my own Eyes ; I have been embroider- 
ing' so busily at my Veil for some days. 

Clara now showed him the Veil, at the 
same time holding in her breath. I am go- 
ing to put it on thus earl//, and yet for all that 
too late ! said she, in a scarcely audible tone 
of voice, and from a Soul which seemed to 
have lost itself, or to be dwelling in Thought 
in far distant Regions and in twice-blessed 
Times. 

Ah ! thou art going to be a Nun, sighed 
the Boy. 

No, she is going to be an Angel, said the 
Girl, correcting him. Oh dear Clara, I will 
be an Angel too. 

Then I will be a Monk, concluded the 
loving Boy. 

Clara's glance scarcely wandered so far as 
to meet my Eyes ; and when Albert under- 
stood aright her Words, her Looks, her 
hasty undertaking, there lay in this fleeting 



78 



THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 



Moment the Satisfaction and the Consolation 
of her whole self-sacrificing Life. 

On a plate of Chinese Porcelain was some 
Gingerbread; — I know not whether she had 
heard from her Brother that Albert had been 
fond of it from his childhood ; — Clara offered 
some to the Children — and, as if in jest, she 
held out the Plate to him, looking meanwhile 
on the Ground, and whispered only : Perhaps 
you would like also to taste some of it ? an 
Artist, you know, continues willingly to be a 
Child, even though he were 

She paused. At the same moment his 
Wife sent for him in haste : Albert must of 
necessity return Home — the matter could suf- 
fer no delay. 

Clara smiled, thinking Agnes might have 
a Presentiment — that she might feel the gen- 
tle Echo of the Words in her own Bosom. 

Go to her, then, Master Albert, said she, 
taking leave of him ; and if you will not 
think amiss of me for it, take the Drawing 



THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 



79 



also with you ! My Picture was meant for 
my Brother Wilibald; but if he wishes to 
keep me in remembrance, he has no need of 
my Shadow. And if he misses me, he will 
see myself standing before his Eyes, where- 
ever I may be. And besides, why should I 
be hung up in this room, and deceive Stran- 
gers who never knew me ? I must say Fare- 
well to you also ! farewell ! Now make 

haste, else a second Messenger will come — 
then she will come herself. Ah ! She I* 

Albert went away from her like one in a 
Dream ; but his pure Heart did not even lis- 
ten to her guileless, heart-rending Words. 

At Home, however, there was no one who 
wanted him. Agnes raised her Head from 
her work, and smiled, looked at him with 
confused glances, and only said in her own 



* My poor, poor Sister ! this alone then was the cause of 
thy retirement from Life. Indeed I guessed as much. Why 
did Hans Frei bargain so hastily with old Albert ! — W. P. 



80 



THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 



excuse, I was so anxious! now there is a 
Stone taken from my Heart. 

When Pirkheimerh Sister went to the 
Convent of Santa Clara, she left behind her 
Presents to all the Friends of her Youth, and 
to Albert's Agnes a valuable lace Collar of 
her own Handiwork. 

Agnes locked it up, without even trying it 
on. Perhaps she did so secretly. 

The importance of the Honeymoon, which 
had been so much vaunted to him by his 
Father, had not held good ; because he felt 
that he himself in this Fascination had scarce- 
ly seen his Wife as she actually was ; in like 
manner, she also had not seen him as he 
was, much less had she understood him ; but 
least of all would she be able soon to get ac- 
customed to the peculiarities which he, as 
every Man does, brought with him into the 
married state : of that he was sensible. 
Everything must therefore once more be con- 
templated after the ordinary manner of the 



THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 81 



World, once more with subdued Feelings 
spoken of, considered, and settled, as the op- 
portunity might offer. It was best, however, 
that everything should come right of itself, 
and as it might chance ; in all things indif- 
ferent the Husband must be willing to yield, 
however new it might be to him, however 
different from what he himself thought; he 
had also to learn that he must sacrifice the 
Half of his Existence, must give it up to the 
Wife, in order thereby to gain the Half of 
another beloved Existence, and must scarce- 
ly venture to w~arn, must only tell, even when 
anything Evil was to be shunned, or anything 
Good to be done. A Husband must not be 
a Teacher or a domestic Chaplain. One 
Word may be sufficiently intelligible, and 
when there is good intention on the Wife's 
part, she has long Years in which to disci- 
pline herself in silence thereon — often also to 
suffer. Albert was therefore meekly silent, 
and studied the holy condition of Marriage 
6 



82 THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 



with a devout mind, because the Lord had 
placed him in Paradise. 

Under favour of his Silence, everything in 
the House was soon directed and regulated 
according to Agnes's will; and what in itself 
appeared indifferent, through the number and 
the association of things, was soon no longer 
so. Yet he let everything alone which was 
not really bad. For he knew well that he 
exercised a mental Ascendancy which con- 
strained his Wife in her Will, and against 
which she thought she could maintain an ar- 
tificial Equilibrium by Opposition alone. 
She knew not the power of Submission, not 
even that of Submission to the best of Hus- 
bands. And when she saw daily the two- 
headed Eagle over the park-gate, on the Arms 
of the Imperial City, then she thought that 
in Marriage there should also be two Heads, 
without considering that no living creature 
can so exist, and that even when painted or 
hewn in stone it is a Monster, or represents 



THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 83 



one. Il should be said, however, in excuse 
for her, that she was the Child of an old 
Father, and had not learned obedience, even 
when he asked her to be happy, not to men- 
tion anything else. She had only laughed 
when her Father once asked her quite grave- 
ly to laugh, so that he might see his Daugh- 
ter lively for once — were it only in appear- 
ance. 

Thus demure was her Mind, and only di- 
rected towards a few objects in Life, but to 
them so much the more firmly and constant- 
ly. And these things were not censurable, 
but, on the contrary, desirable and necessary 
for every one. Her sense of Honour was 
great, strong, and pure ; but she wished to 
carry it about with her through Life, not only 
firmly maintained but undisputed. 

But . 

Albert's Father had, it is true, bought him 
a House, but h« had not paid for it. And 
therefore the Walls oppressed and confined 



84 THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 



poor Agnes, so that it was impossible to 
move her to look out at the Window with 
him — out of a borrowed House. 

As often also as she went to Church like 
a good Catholic, she avoided the Streets in 
which any one dwelt who was in Albert's 
Debt, that she might not appear needy or 
dunning. 

Albert, with his usual candour, had also 
imparted to her Letters he had received from 
Venice dunning him. They were for Debts 
contracted in Travelling and for Instruction ; 
— and he who would allow his Neighbour, 
with whose circumstances he is intimately ac- 
quainted, to starve, will lend to the Stranger; 
for when any one travels into far Countries, 
he provides beforehand the means thereto, 
and is thought to be only in momentary em- 
barrassment, which may even befal the rich- 
est. Albert, however, endured much Dis- 
tress in Foreign Lands, and willingly suffer- 
ed Want from his unconquerable Love for 



THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 85 



the Arts, which carried him cheerfully through 
a condition that might perhaps have killed 
another, without such an opposing power. 
When such a Letter came, Agnes was silent 
for Days. He, however, had the fruits of 
his Journey in his Heart and in his Mind — > 
no one could rob him of these ; and that he 
was in Debt for them, and yet possessed 
them, appeared to him quite wonderful ; and 
he was satisfied when he felt his Power, and 
saw the means how, and how soon, and with 
what thanks, he would be able to pay ! But 
if he reckoned up all his prospects to Agnes, 
she only cast down her Eyes, or looked at 
him with doubting Looks, which made his 
whole heart tumultuous within him. He 
was as certain of the thing as he was of his 
Life, and yet his own Wife discouraged him 
by her Doubts! His Mind revolted; all his 
future Works rose up within his Bosom like 
fiery Spirits ; he felt himself raised by them 
above the Evils of this Life ; he glowed, his 



86 THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 



Lips quivered, Tears flowed down his Cheeks 
— and Agnes stole away from him speechless 
but not convinced — and, as he also plainly 
saw, not to be convinced; she was quite 
horror-struck, for she had never before so 
seen her gentle Husband, so full of noble 
Power ! so full of inward holy Wrath ! 

And yet he was soon again pacified, sof- 
tened, yea dejected ; for he was not always 
well able at that time to procure for his Ag- 
nes the immediate Necessaries of Life, in the 
manner she, as Mistress of a House, wished ! 
As for her, she saw the fulfilment of her most 
reasonable Hopes only so much the longer 
delayed — and he, by the same means, her 
Satisfaction with herself and with him ; and 
thus his own Peace hovered over him like a 
scared-away Lark, no longer visible among 
the Clouds — till single Notes of her Song 
again penetrated down to him, as if the Sun 
were singing and speaking to him. 

Labour was Life and Delight to the Mas- 



THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 



87 



ter ; for any one can make mention of his 
own Industry as he would of a Duty, and of 
the want of it as a Sin of Omission. But 
the Artist is no Machine, no Millwheel that 
turns round and round Day and Night; his 
Work is Mental, and his Works are Mind, 
produced by Mind. Thoughts and Images 
slumber within him like Bees in a Hive ; 
they fly out and feed and grow upon the 
Sweets of the eternal Spring without : them- 
selves satisfied and strengthened, they bring 
home Nourishment with them, and feed the 
young Bees who as yet only flap their Wings, 
and buzz around ; they cover the Brood, till 
they impregnate their Queen — Fancy ; — and 
every new Work is a Swarm, which joyfully 
separating from the Mother-stock, departs to 
the place it has traced out for a Settlement. 
The Swarm changes its Voice by that of the 
Queen who keeps them together ; and when 
its Bees and the Bees of the Mother-stock 
meet on the Flowers, they no longer recog- 



88 THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 



nize each other. Or as in Spring, when it 
becomes hot, and the Heavens are inflamed, 
and the Thunder Storm in the Spring Night, 
with its red Flashes and great Rain-drops, 
causes a thousand Buds to spring, brings 
forth Blossoms, opens up Crocuses, Violets, 
and Hyacinths — and they, when the Heaven- 
ly Blessing hangs over them, stand there in 
the Morning, as if by their own power they 
had grown out of the Earth, because they are 
so beautiful, and every one gives them credit 
for possessing the wonderful Power of Self- 
production — in like manner, an inward men- 
tal Sun opens up as suddenly the Flowers in 
the Head of the Artist ! But they must all 
wait patiently till their time comes, and he 
must wait patiently and wear them for a long 
time as Germ and Bud : and the restlessness, 
the laying on of the Hand, the rubbing of the 
Brow, and the painful Self-torture, are of no 
avail ! all in vain ! If he tries this, neverthe- 
less, then he is only a Child who tears up a 



THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 89 



still closed Snowdrop along with its Stalk, 
and forces it open with his Mouth ; or peels 
a Butterfly out of the Chrysalis, and only be- 
holds the Wonder of incipient Life — and 
then destroys ! 

Master Albert now often dreamed and de- 
layed whole Days ; sat down, rose up, spoke 
to himself, drew with his Stick on the Sand, 
or began to make an Eye or a Nose with 
black Chalk ; and then Agnes called him a 
Child, or thought that, dissatisfied with her, 
he held Converse with his own Soul. Or he 
walked up and down in the Garden, stood 
for a quarter of an hour at a time before the 
trunk of a Tree, and studied its wonderfully- 
bursting Bark; looked up to the Heavens, 
and imprinted on his memory the forms of 
the Clouds ; or he sat before the door, and 
called thither handsome Children, placed one 
quite in the Shade of the Roof, another only 
half, and made a third stand in the full Sun- 
shine, that he might adjust for himself the 



90 



THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 



colours of the dresses in Light and Shade ; 
or he accosted old Men and Women, who 
came to him just as if they had been sent by 
God. Then Agnes called to him, and said 
peevishly : My God ! why not rather work ! 
thou knowest well, we need it. 

I do work, said Albert. My Picture is 
ready. 

God grant it ! sighed she, as if he were 
lazy, or incapable. 

Just consider, my Agnes, said he then 
smiling : does the Carver carve the Forms ; 
does the Pencil paint ? these are my Spirits 
and Slaves, who do my Will when I call 
them. 

But still thou canst sit down. 
I certainly can do so. 

If thy Pencil would only move of itself! 
were there such a Pencil — then w T e should 
have our wants supplied. 

I would burn, I would banish such a Pen- 
cil, as if it were an Evil Spirit ! I — I must 



THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 91 



do all myself, otherwise I should no longer 
be myself. That were just the same as if a 
strange Woman were to love and foster me 
instead of thee. 

Internal Images now appeared to his Mind, 
as if induced by constant Devotion, and dis- 
closed to his sight how the Crocus appearing 
out of the Earth, tears its little delicate white 
Child's Shirt; and then the Master glowed 
like a vessel full of molten Gold, liquified 
and pure for the casting; so that he trem- 
bled, knew nothing more of the World, and 
what was revealed to him he transferred to 
the Tablet with inspired haste : — then came 
Agnes and called to him two or three times, 
always louder and louder, about some Trifle. 
He then sprang up, neither knowing where 
he had been nor where he now was ; the 
portals of the Spiritual Kingdom closed sud- 
denly, and the only half conjured-up Images 
sank back into Night, and into Spiritual 
Death, and perhaps never returned to him, 



92 



THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 



— ah! never thus again. Then he recognized 
Agnes, who, angry at his demeanor, stood 
before him and scolded him deaf and blind. 
Then his Blood was like to a Spring Flood 
he seized the Charm-dispelling Disturber 
violently by the arm — and held her thus till 
he awoke. Then he said, ashamed, Is it 
thou, my Wife? I was not here just now! 
not with thee ! Forgive me ! To vex even 
a Child is more inhuman than to see and 
paint all the Angels, and to hear them and 
one's self praised, is desirable. Thou also 
livest in a beautiful World — and that the 
Sun and Moon shine upon it, that makes it 
none the worse! Where thou art, where 
I am, with Soul and Feeling, yea with 
Fancy and her Works, that is to me the 
true, the holy World! And now he smiled 
and asked her mildly : What dost thou want 
with me then, my Child? But his Eyes 
flashed. 

She, however, believed that she had looked 



THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 93 



upon a Demon! a Conjuror of Spirits! She 
examined the red mark on her arm, where 
he had seized her; Tears gushed from her 
Eyes ; she bowed down and lamented : Ah ! 
I know it, I have it always in my mind — 
thou wilt certainly one day murder me ! 
Every time I go to bed, I pray that I may 
not perish in my Sins, when thou again art 
as thou art now! when I am nothing to 
thee ! 

She spoke in so soft, so desponding a 
tone, and yet so resigned to her Fate with 
him, that he was moved to Tears by her 
confused words and frightened appearance. 

Oh thou, my Heavenly Father! sighed he 
then, and stood with clasped hands ; till at 
length he clasped his terrified Wife, who 
could not comprehend him, who felt so pa- 
tient and so completely in his power, that she 
would not even scream or call for help," if he 
should Oh! thou heavenly Father! 



94 THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 



till at length he clasped her in his arms, and 
felt her glowing on his Cheek. 

Then he secretly determined with himself 
to yield to her willingly in everything; to 
allow her to rule according to the best of her 
Knowledge and Understanding, and lovingly 
to endure all from her, and to do everything 
to please her, till at length, instead of him, a 
very different, a cruel Man should appear, to 
execute that which she from him — 

Oh! thou Heavenly Father! 

As soon as he had spoken, Fear was at an 
end; for what is said, no longer disquiets a 
Woman, nor does it even a Poet. 

Agnes now thought that the exhausting- 
efforts of the mind would confuse his senses 
— that she would have her Suffering with 
him — and must starve in old age — perhaps 
in youth! or his abstracted manner of Life 
might draw him away, as it had done from 
Men, so also from her, from his Wife ! — and 



THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 



95 



thought how little she was to him, and of 
how small value. 

Nunnenbeck the Minstrel and Celtes came 
to visit Albert. Agnes had certainly imparted 
her fears to them. There was also a Scholar 
of Albert's, a relative of Nunnenbeck, who 
was a loose fellow. Therefore Celtes said, 
in presence of them all : To discriminate 
Ideas is to discriminate Life. I grant that he 
who is born an Artist must be a different, 
more peculiar, more richly endowed person 
than others. He is the Organ, the Medium 
through which the creative Mind of Nature 
is still glowing, who is destined to continue 
the work she has only just begun, by Images 
drawn from her secret movements, and who 
moulds the outward universal Creation into 
a Human Form. Therefore, his Bosom is a 
moving Depth, full of Germs and Images, 
the materials for a more beautiful mental 
Spring. Himself the Spirit of Nature, he 
takes a thoughtful interest in all her so 



96 



THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 



beautifully-formed Works : the Death of the 
Worm moves him as deeply as the Death of 
the greatest Man ; for it is Death that moves 
him. All Nature's manifestations are reflect- 
ed in the warm and clear Mirror of his Soul. 
Love, also, which enraptures every creature, 
breathes and glows on him sacredly; and 
under the influence of this glowing Fulness, 
yea in the midst of it, he can scarcely contain 
his Felicity in thoughts which stream over 
all things. Ah ! and he struggles to tell of 
the Godly, and to lament the Sorrowful — to 
penetrate all which has been from Eternity, 
which near and around him rules, and over 
his Grave will still eternally rule. And this 
Power of Contemplation, this Impulse pro- 
ceeding from the Power, makes him an Ar- 
tist. 

But, interrupted Nimnenbeck, does he then 
tear himself loose from his Mother Nature 
when he enters on the career of an Artist? 
can he no longer make use of her Laws ? 



THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 



97 



Is he no longer moved by the Actual around 
him ? — has he no Joy, no Sorrow, no more 
any individual Life in Nature — does he cease 
to be a Man, if he would become one of the 
most glorious of his Generation ? Does no- 
thing living any more allure, disappoint, ex- 
cite and enrapture him ? and is his Life only 
the Dream of his Soul, and its Capacities 
what he must dream of ? 

Alas for him ! said Celtes, if he could and 
must do this! then were he more miserable 
than one of the most neglected Creatures of 
his loving Mother! But he has also Fancy 
in which to live ! 

He dwells in no remote, subterranean, or 
celestial kingdom, proceeded Nunnenbeck; 
he dwells in the Kernel of Nature. He is 
not solitary, but like an Enchanter alone, 
awfully alone with the conjured-up Spirits, 
and thus in the most dignified and fullest 
Society of all the Living and the Dead. He 
continues to be a Man, subject to all the 
7 



98 



THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 



lavvs of waking and sleeping, of hunger and 
thirst, and to all the conditions of Existence, 
as strictly as a day-labourer. He has not nor 
can he subject himself to these Spirits, for his 
own Spirit is greater than all. He does not 
build his marvellous Palace on the Wrecks of 
this spell-like Nnlure, but he adopts all her 
Llc\vs, even the smallest and most delicate, 
in his Ideas and Images ; — if he would make 
himself intelligible and valuable to Men, 
then he must invent and create according to 
the most universal Laws, which the smallest 
may understand and recognize — and his 
Power is not derived from Nature, to be used 
against Nature, but with her; and it is his 
Life and his Glory to follow her as far and 
as faithfully as it is possible for him to follow 
her. For the Human Race must not receive 
through his means a contorted, false, illusive 
Nature ; but every one if possible must see 
his own Heart's Kernel, that he may under- 
stand the Miracles which were not so clear 



THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 99 



to his own contemplation. In this way- 
alone, he raises also to the all-powerful 
Mother, the insiped, unthinking, and passive, 
whose Senses are all bound down by the 
Exigencies of Life. Through him they see 
that Nature is not so common as they are 
common : through him, in fine, they behold 
the whole Beauty of the World, the whole 
Depth which is in the Mind of Man, and 
which the Initiated bring to light. But when 
the Artist descends to search out the Trea- 
sures of the Deep, still he is like the Miner, 
who has his House and his Wife above in 
the Sunshine! 

Agnes looked at the excellent old Man, 
and blushed. Therefore he was silent, and 
Celtes, the subtle Judge of Mankind, turned 
the conversation still further to Albert's ad- 
vantage. 

Yes, as k : loves the World, said he, so the 
World teves him in return ; they cannot do 
without each other. And e\en the severest 



100 



THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 



Capuchin is in the right, when he censures 
the Artist who does not in the strictest man- 
ner fulfil the Moral Laws of Nature; — for 
that was what I meant by my first words. 
The gift of Fancy, and the gift of Reverence 
for the Godlike, are two very different quali- 
ties in Man ; and it is only by their union 
that a truly perfect Man is known. "What 
makes him an Artist is, that, to outward 
appearance quite a simple Man, he yet can 
mount into the region of Fancy as often as 
he will. But it is only as a pure Being, as an 
Angel, that he can enter therein. Those who 
are but seldom inspired — the tumultuous, 
only once or twice excited — are ungenuine 
Spirits : they sink as deep as they soared 
high. Nature gives to the genuine Artist, 
with his Birth, the true Elevation, the Great- 
ness of Mind necessary for lifelong unvary- 
ing Endurance day and night ; and from her 
comes every daily breath, every word — so 
that he feels, suffers, and rejoices in every- 



THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 101 



thing, under every lot, and in all circum- 
stances. And thus he sits, apparently like 
one mute or blind, yea as a Child among 
Children, and dwells meanwhile — although 
with them, yet wherever he will, in Heaven 
or in Hell. It is only the constant, unremit- 
ting Power which gives the stamp to the 
genuine Calling; and from that Power he 
has Occupation, Name, Work, and Happi- 
ness. And if he wilfully close the Realm of 
Fancy, then he becomes subject to the small- 
est Law of the exterior World, and more so 
indeed of his Love and of his Conscience, 
which are the tenderest and purest Laws in 
the World. 

Dost thou hear? said Nunnenbeck to his 
young relative, and seized him by the hand. 
Wherever thou beholdest a dissolute Artist, 
my Son, even if it were only his Shadow, 
then think : he is no Artist, has never been 
one fundamentally, or will soon be one no 
longer ; for the Conflict between two Passions 



102 THE YEAR OF STFIFE. 



drags even the strongest person to Death. 
Human Nature can endure a Fault, and 
more so if it contains an elevating, ever-vivi- 
fying Power. No one dies by the effusions 
of such a PD\ver: it is the renovating Joy of 
his Life. But he who is a Giant in Fancy, 
may be a Negro Child in Morals ; and the 
Child drags the Giant into the abyss. For 
these are certainly opposite — bat may be 
found united in the same person. And every 
one, be he who he may, is and must remain 
a Man, a Moral Being, and may least of all 
give himself up to the Devil, that he may re- 
veal God by his Art. 

In addition to all these doubts, Agnes had 
also others which were tender and womanly. 
Albert was willing to give her every proof 
of his Love, till she was convinced. But he 
did not succeed, owing to a hundred new 
occurrences. 

The faithful, modest Susanna, ate with 
them at Table. First of all, that was an Of- 



THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 



103 



fence. But Albert also spoke with her when 
he was alone. There was nothing more 
painful to him, than, in a House where only 
two or three live together, to force one's self 
to be silent out of mere Haughtiness, and to 
treat the Servants, whether male or female, 
as Mutes, who are yet Human Beings like 
ourselves ; for nothing makes us more con- 
temptible in the eyes of others, than when 
they dare not talk to us because we seem to 
despise them, and do really despise them. 
Now Agnes suspected, when he broke off a 
Conversation with Susanna whenever she en- 
tered, that it had been about her : therefore 
she must be dismissed from the House. He 
would not agree to it. Then came still more 
evil times ; and at last he was obliged to let 
her go, because a "Wretch seduced the poor 
young Creature. And secretly to protect her 
from want — that was dangerous: therefore 
he must see the poor Girl with her Child go 



104 THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 



about begging — and he actually saw it — but 
with secret Tears and Sighs. 

At another time there came a Worker in 
Tapestry from Arras and dwelt with him — 
and also ate and drank. To be sure, that 
cost Money — it cannot be denied. But the 
Man, who was going to Rome, to collect 
large sums of Money, and to take new orders, 
had also a Son with him, a Painter, whom 
Albert had known before in the Netherlands. 
This young Man was not likely to awaken 
confidence in the Minds of upright Women, 
for he was very flighty and loose in his con- 
duct. Now Agnes judged of all her Hus- 
band's foreign acquaintances from this Man. 
Albert had had no other intercourse with him 
but concerning his Art: as a Man, he had 
allowed him to go his own way. And a Man 
can only pass through the world pure, when 
he sucks in nourishment for his own life, like 
the Flowers from the universal Ether. Thus 



THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 105 



he may occupy himself with Plants and Ani- 
mals in as far as they are beneficial to him, 
without becoming a Rose-bush or a Bear. 
The young Man's Sister was also with them, 
a blooming young creature, to whom Albert 
had been kind in her girlish years, and who 
now, when grown, hung on him the more 
confidingly. To dispel the doubts of Agnes 
in this matter also, he asked the Maiden one 
day at table, whether she recollected in what 
year he had visited her Father. And the 
mention of the year drew forth from her so 
much about the happy days of her Youth, 
which a Child alone could remember, that 
Agnes was convinced in her own mind. But 
she was angry at her experiment in Arithme- 
tic, and at his Smile. 

In consequence of this Conversation, Ag- 
nes now asked Albert to tell her all about his 
Travels. He dared not hesitate. And so he 
was obliged to conceal many things from her, 
and also where he had received much Love 



106 



THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 



and Kindness, which made his grateful Heart 
very sorrowful. He also felt his Deficiencies 
in many things, and saw now, for the first 
time, as he believed, what a much wiser and 
more profitable Use he might have made of 
his Travels, of the advantages of the Places, 
and of the dexterity of the Masters ! But 
it appeared so to him, only because he was 
now wiser and further advanced in his Art. 
For Man sees and understands only accord- 
ing to the Measure of his own Power and 
Art. Of this, however, he was certain, that 
he was now capable of observing and learn- 
ing more than formerly; and he oftentimes 
expressed the wish once again to behold these 
glorious Lands ; and the longing thereafter, 
proceeding from the Depths of his Soul, was 
almost painfully reflected in his countenance. 

Agnes fanqied that he might possess or 
miss some God, which he had left or lost 
there. She had everything in Him, and he 
had Her. 



THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 107 



At another time, he advised a young un- 
cultivated Artist against taking a Wife, be- 
cause he did not think him sufficiently 
strengthened and confirmed in his Vocation ; 
and he was driven about by a Disquietude, 
which had not yet allowed him steadily to 
seek the golden Portals to the Treasures of 
the Soul, of Life, and of his Art; and he 
still looked abroad for what lay in himself 
alone, but undiscovered and unsatisfied. 

From this Warning Agnes concluded that 
Albert was dissatisfied with his own Mar- 
riage, and she remained whole days in the 
house of her Parents. He went for her in the 
evenings — to avoid the risk of her not re- 
turning at all ! When Husband and Wife 
weigh every word before it is uttered, then 
there is scarcely any more free Intercourse, 
and the Restraint must be doubled. 

The usages of Society are certainly conve- 
nient; they even give Unity, Simplicity, and 
a certain steady bearing to a multifariously- 



108 THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 



assailed Life, and also a seeming Greatness 
to the Mind. Yet, under certain circum- 
stances, they are also constraining and un- 
welcome. A proof of this may here be ad- 
duced. Agnes would not rise from table, 
nor allow herself to be disturbed in eating. 
" When any one, more especially the Mis- 
tress, has not Rest at such times, then is her 
whole Life nothing but vain Toil, and with- 
out proper Refreshment. It is then one 
comes at least once a-day to recollection, and 
every thing at table appears to us pleasant 
and agreeable to the Eye, as the Food or the 
Wine to the Palale." 

Not untrue, and well argued. 

When she was in a good humour, when 
the Roast was at the Fire, and the Table was 
ready covered with nice Linen, then she was 
so pleased with every thing in the House — 
that she was off like meadow water, and 
stood gossiping with some female neighbour. 
These were her favourite moments. The 



THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 109 



Master, knowing this, waited patiently for 
her, and lived meanwhile in Flemish Kitchen 
Scenes. On the contrary, if he remained 
out a quarter of an hour beyond Dinner- 
time, she had dined quickly ; the table was 
cleared, and he might look to it, and take 
what he could get. He considered such a 
day as a voluntary Fast-day, and was satiated 
with Contentment. But if he reminded her 
of the words from the Ceremonial Address, 
" Be ye Hospitable," then she said jeeringly, 
So! thou art an Angel! Where are then 
thy Wings ? and what is thy Heavenly 
Name? 

And he answered, whilst she felt his Shoul- 
ders, I am only called Albert, and am thy 
dear Husband ! 

My dear ? how dost thou know that, then, 
my Angel ! said she. Then he went mildly 
away from her — but she sprang hastily after 
him, and he remained mute in her mute em- 
brace. 



110 THE YEAR OF STRIFE. 



Ali these things put together were power- 
ful from their union, and, like a Bundle of 
Reeds, could scarcely be bent, far less broken. 
And thus ended the Year of Strife, without 
any real Treaty of Peace, which in general 
is never solemnly concluded nor formally 
celebrated. So it was to be throughout all 
the succeeding Years ! As old secret Reser- 
vations are the cause of new Declarations of 
War — so is it between two Monarchs in 
Marriage. 



A LITTLE AGNES. 



Beauty does not supersede all other claims 
on a Woman ; on the contrary, it should 
draw them forth, as the Sun does the Flow- 
ers, in order that they may be all so much 
the more sweetly and charmingly fulfilled. 
For it is wonderful how much Beauty ex- 
cites the Imagination ; how much it covers, 
and outshines, and consecrates, so that a 
beautiful Countenance alone makes a mor- 
tal Woman already an Angel, and even a 
Hair from her Eyelid appears and is no lon- 
ger a Hair — it is a Miracle, like the beautiful 
Woman herself. And Agnes was beautiful 
— so beautiful ! But Albert looked upon her 
almost with sadness, almost with pity, be- 
cause she — ah! because she was so beauti- 
ful. Beauty is only one gift of Nature ! only 



112 



A LITTLE AGNES. 



a gift to Woman ! The Woman herself is 
the Being who receives it. But as is the 
Woman, so does she receive, and so does 
she use the Godly Gift. Yea as she is, so 
becomes, and so appears also at last, her 
Beauty. 
Yet 

A little Agnes, who now appeared, gave to 
Albert's Wife the Radiance, yea the Glory 
of the Mother. Thus the Deity continued to 
bless her! Agnes was the sacred Instrument 
in His Hands, and the most mysterious, the 
most divine Powers of old Nature were thus 
granted to her as it were in Fief. Albert 
being now filled with Reverence, Rapture, 
Satisfaction, and Thankfulness, all was well, 
better than ever, and his Love was now 
nobly founded, and hers justified, if not 
more. 

For Agnes also felt in her Heart as if 
newly-born, and secretly bound by her Hus- 
band's unwearied care. He watched over 



A LITTLE AGNES. 



113 



Mother and Child. No breath of air should 
blow upon them ; and when both the dear 
Ones slumbered, then he hastened away to 
draw and to paint ; and, to his own amaze- 
ment, he quickly and beautifully completed 
a Picture of the Nativity, and one of the 
Adoration, with the three Holy Kings.* 
The Picture seemed as if speaking. And 
then he blessed the Path he had chosen! 
His own Life opened up to him an unknown 
portion both of the World, and of his Art, 
and he felt that he was now the Man to pro- 
duce quite different and truer Works. Na- 



* The wise men of the East who came to Bethlehem were 
vulgarly called Kings, but were very probably of a subordi- 
nate rank. Tertullian calls them Princes, and others con- 
cur in supposing them to have been Governors or petty 
Princes, such having been anciently denominated Kings. 
Bede, Benedict XIV., and others, declared their number to 
have been three. An ancient commentary on St. Matthew, 
preserved among the writings of St. Chrysostom, says that 
they were baptized in Persia by the Apostle St. Thomas, 
and thereafter became preachers of the Gospel. — Translator. 
8 



114 A LITTLE AGNES. 



ture in her Divinity had never yet presented 
herself before him so closely and so sacredly ! 
And he felt fresher than in the blooming 
Month of May after a mild fertilizing Tem- 
pest. The Ideas which have once been 
cleared up to the Artist remain eternally clear 
in his Mind. He directs himself to these 
bright points of his inner Life when he wish- 
es to model — then he can dream and create ! 
From this source all is Real ! He has felt 
what he wishes to represent ; — he may change 
and transpose ; then unfold, and convey his 
Ideas to other Men ; and his Work will al- 
ways spring from the Heart and go to the 
Heart again. Therefore he must have expe- 
rienced the greatest, the simplest, the most 
beautiful, and the saddest Events of Nature 
and of human Life in general, — he must 
have felt the highest Joy and the deepest Sor- 
row — and whoever has trod the noble path 
of Human Life with an observing mind — 
and that is peculiar to the Artist — to him are 



A LITTLE AGNES. 



115 



none of these awanting. But it is enough for 
him, that his Fancy embraces Nature in its 
simplicity ! He need not have been the Mur- 
derer of innumerable Children, in order to 
represent the Massacre of the Innocents — if 
he only has and loves one living' Child, and 
think — it may die ! He need not have drain- 
ed the Cup of Vice to the dregs, that he may 
paint Lucrelia — if he only has a Wife, or 
has ever possessed one, whom he loves, and 
thinks — the proud King's son may appear be- 
fore her with the Poniard or with Dishonour. 
He need not have gone to beg his Bread that 
he may draw the Prodigal — if he has only 
been a good Son, who loves his Father ; — 
the Tatters are found then. Thus the Artist 
hits everything, whatever it may be, faithfully 
and truly, if he has always been a genuine 
Man, attentive to the plainest, simplest con- 
ditions of Nature. Only in this sense, then, 
these words are no Blasphemy : The Artist 
must have experienced what he wishes to 



116 



A LITTLE AGNES. 



create. Thus indeed he has experienced 
everything ; and though simple and natural 
himself, he can yet easily represent the Un- 
natural. The Artist's first Power, then, is his 
own pure Heart ; the second, his Fancy ; the 
third, the faculty of conceiving everything 
that comes from his Heart, as from a true in- 
exhaustible Source, to be afterwards woven 
by Fancy. 

Albert brought the Pictures to Agnes. 
The sight of them rejoiced her ; but she 
looked at the Child and said : These are still 
nothing but Pictures after all! Who has be- 
spoken them ? and what wilt thou receive for 
them ? 

They are already paid — through you and 
my own joy! said he, somewhat mortified. 
It is true, they were only Pictures — and be- 
cause he himself now possessed more than 
Pictures, he saw also, that the Mother pos- 
sessed more, and that she had spoken quite 
naturally and justly. So he willingly learned 



A LITTLE AGNES. 



117 



this also, — that a living Work of God is of 
more value tha<; all the Works of Men, and 
that these only exist and can exist — because 
those are. For it is folly to think that Man 
has produced anything of himself! The 
Great Master in Heaven gives the Conception 
for the fair work, the Power of accomplishing 
it, Joy to Men in beholding it, as well as the 
living work from his own Hard — the high- 
est and godliest of all. 

Therefore Albert prized the little creature 
as a rich Blessing from his Heavenly Father. 
Be ye hospitable, said he to himself, for 
thereby some have entertained Angels. And 
by these words he was transported back in 
thought to the day when he stood in the 
Church, and the Maiden Agnes stood beside 
him, and now in fancy he put the little Ag- 
nes into her arms, and the Bride stood — as a 
Mother ! All that had afterwards taken place 
seemed to him then as a thing of the Past ; and 
the Softness with which his heart overflowed 



118 A LITTLE AGNES. 



was reflected backwards, and warmed the 
long days, in which in strange lands he had 
languished in vain for such Happiness — also 
those in which he had been so cool to the 
Mother of his little Daughter. From this 
time forth he determined always to look upon 
her as the Mother, even if the Child 

He did not finish the Thought, but silently 
supplicated Heaven to spare its Life. 

The Mother, however, was dissatisfied 
with what she called his excessive Solicitude, 
and repulsed him. And thus there remained 
to him only the choice, either of offending 
her, or of bringing perhaps Distress upon him- 
self by her want of Consideration and youth- 
ful Rashness. And he chose the perhaps ! 
— and prayed that it might not, nay, that it 
might surely not come to pass. For he 
could not and did not wish to think of any 
one of the three without the others. 

A Nurse was needed, and the faithful ser- 
vices of the poor Susanna were remembered, 



A LITTLE AGNES. 



119 



who, in spite of her Expulsion, yet carried 
no Tales out of the House, and she was ac- 
cordingly brought back again. 

Susanna, however, had a Mark upon her 
arm, a little Blood-red Cross, which some 
time before had fallen as if from Heaven all 
of a sudden on many people, and which Al- 
bert, on account of its singularity, had even 
copied. Susanna had formerly often stretch- 
ed out her bare arm at table after dinner, and 
Agnes had seen, admired, and touched the 
Mark, and traced it on her Cheek with her fin- 
ger; and now it turned out that the little Agnes 
had a small Purple Cross on her right Cheek. 

On this account Agnes did not care so 
much for her Daughter, and would willingly 
have sent back the dear Child to its Heavenly 
Father — and begged Him for another, but if 
possible to select one for herself out of the in- 
numerable Host in the Storehouse of Mortals. 

The Child was as like her Father as if he 
had become little again, and a Girl ; and he 



120 A LITTLE AGNES. 



remarked to Agnes in thoughtless sport, how 
much trouble she had with him, how much 
she loved and kissed and caressed him, and 
took pleasure in toying with him. 

Therefore the Child got no more Kisses 
from her in his presence, and at last Susanna 
had it always in her lap. 

The little Girl however was sickly, and 
gave small promise of Life or of being rear- 
ed, and therefore the Love of the Mother 
shrunk back, perhaps from insupportable Sad- 
ness; for she had once with difficulty sup- 
pressed her Tears, when she looked at her 
pale little One ; and as if she were already 
lost, she tried to compose and comfort her- 
self that she might first appear indifferent, and 
then in the end become really so. And the 
ever sickly, ever sad-tempered Child, who 
was but seldom satisfied with anything, de- 
served in this way the dissatisfaction of the 
Mother. Albert thus accounted for the 
change in her Feelings. 



A LITTLE AGNES. 121 



The Child was two years old. She was 
to have had a little golden Hood and a pretty 
white Frock for her Birth-day — but the day 
came, and Agnes had not got them finished. 
He took her, unadorned as she was, to his 
Bosom. Thus the little Girl went quite over 
to the Father. She stood near him when he 
painted or carved ; he played with her, and 
neglected Art as often as willingly, that he 
might learn something from Life instead. 
She held him fast in her little arms till she 
fell asleep ; and even then he remained yet a 
while by her, that he might enjoy the few, 
the blessed hours, in which the Father still 
possessed a Child! How thoughtful, and 
yet how thoughtless, he looked on, when she 
washed out his pencil in pure water, or 
brought colours to him! How tenderly he 
listened, and yet liked not to listen, when the 
Child said for her Evening Prayer the little 
Verse : 



122 



A LITTLE AGNES. 



All ! dear God, I pray thee, 
A pious Child make me ! 
Rather than I should stray, 
Take me from Earth away; 
Take me to thy Heaven of Light, 
Make me like the Angels bright! 

Or when she began the LorcTs Prayer: 
Our Father which art in Heaven ! 

The Child now attached herself to him 
alone. And whom has a Child, but Father 
and Mother? They are all to it; they can 
destroy or preserve it. Without them it is 
deprived of counsel, helpless ; and even the 
morsel of Bread or the Apple, which God 
has given to the Parents, it receives from their 
hands. How high and powerful does a 
Father appear to a Child! Only because it 
knows and loves him, it learns to love and 
know the Heavenly Father. The Child be- 
comes all that he wishes — and what must he 
be, whom that does not move ? who would 
not bend, even to the Lips of the little sigh- 
ing Image? 



A LITTLE AGNES. 123 



Under the influence of such feelings, Al- 
bert certainly spoiled the little Agnes, who 
stood so much in need of his care. But he 
had the Heart, and the confiding tender Na- 
ture of an Artist; and he resolved that these 
should overflow towards his little Daughter, 
for the short time she had to live. As he 
highly respected every Human Being, and 
from true Reverence took off his Bonnet to 
all, and held it in his hand, so was a Child 
also to him an Angel, and his Child — his 
good Angel, whom he had to entertain, and 
felt so blest to be permitted to do so. And 
so he must paint for her God the Father, 
the Angels, and the beautiful meek Apostle 
John. He gave her Milk, or Honey, to nour- 
ish the Flowers, or a drop of Wine to pro- 
long the Lives of those that were fading 
away; or he gave her the finest Flowers 
even, that she might press them into the hand 
of the Infant Christ — and when they fell, she 
wept that it would not take them. Her 



124 



A LITTLE AGNES. 



Mother called all that Folly, or a wasting of 
the gifts of God. Then when Winter had 
arrived and the Birds came thronging to the 
windows, hungry and covered with Snow, 
he persuaded the Child, who was now nearly 
three years old, that they came to greet her 
from old Father Winter with an Icicle in- 
stead of a Beard, and remained now to see 
her; and that they were glad when she was 
neat and prettily dressed. Then the Father 
could work ! for she sat at the window for 
hours, nicely dressed in her Mother's golden 
Hood, in order that the Sparrows might 
rejoice over her. Or when he described to 
her the distress of the poor Birds, and how 
cold they were, then she sewed a little warm 
Coat for the Snow-king, which indeed was 
never finished, for the silk thread had no 
knot, and always came through. When she 
found in the street one day a frozen Yellow- 
hammer with a bright golden crest, she wept, 
thinking that the Snow-king had been frozen 



A LITTLE AGNES. 



125 



— and that she was the cause of his Death, 
because she had not made his Winter Cloth- 
ing, But her Father showed her another 
that was flying joyfully — and then she laugh- 
ed loud with delight, and was not angry that 
he had so terrified her! Whatever he gave, 
he said of it : God sent it to her ; God blows 
away the clouds; God paints early in the 
morning the Flowers on the panes of glass. 
And do we grown Children understand bet- 
ter or more devoutly? In. short, an Artist y 
who does not marry, and has not Children, 
or has not had them, has never been in the 
World, never yet in the beauteous tender 
World which he must experience — even if it 
should cost him Thousands of Tears. 

For all that — and it was then compared 
with such infinite Happiness only a sweet 
Punishment — the Mother always called the 
little girl to him Thy Child ! When in his 
absence she had wished to help him on with 
his Paintings, and spoiled here and there a 



126 



A LITTLE AGNES. 



drapery in the Picture by an ill-conducted 
pencil, the Mother said when he came back : 
Thy Child did it ; — if Drawings were quite 
disfigured with black chalk, so that they 
could not be recognised, or Papers cut to 
pieces, which the Mother herself considered 
to be — only Paper, then it was : Thy Child 
did it! For her Mother never restrained her, 
and the Father could do nothing else than 
mildly reprove what the Daughter had meant 
so well. Then Agnes smiled and left them. 

But the Feelings of Children are incon- 
ceivably delicate and just. Little Agnes soon 
saw how unhappy her Father was in his 
Home, how little he was valued. Albert had 
perceived and learnt, first of all, from her own 
Mouth, how much it grieved the loving little 
One to see him so ill used. He saw it also 
in her soft blue Eyes. But he saw it meekly 
and silently. 

When Albert visited a Friend one day 
against the inclinations of Agnes, who feared 



A LITTLE AGNES. 



127 



that he might perhaps complain of her, and 
thereby make public what appeared to her 
quite allowable in private — and came home 
late, that she might not be awake, and yet 
found her keeping watch with the Child, who 
had waited for her Father that she might go to 
bed with him — then the Mother scolded him 
and called him a Waster of Time and Money 
— a Man addicted to worldly Pleasures, while 
she toiled away for ever in secret at Home, 
and had never a single happy Hour with him. 

Thereupon he sat down, and closed his 
Eyes ; but Tears may have secretly gushed 
forth from under his Eyelids. Then the Child 
sighed, pressed him and kissed him, but said 
at the same time to her Mother in childish 
Anger: Thou wilt one day bring down my 
Father to the Grave ! then thou wilt repent 
it. Everybody says so. 

The Mother wished to tear her from his 
arms. But he hindered her, wishing to pun- 
ish his Child himself. These were the first 



128 



A LITTLE AGNES. 



blows he had ever given her. The Child 
stood trembling and motionless. — Do not 
beat her on my account! certainly not on my 
account! exclaimed Agnes, thus indirectly 
irritating him still more. The Father how- 
ever struck. But in the midst of the Sadness 
and at the same time of the Anger which his 
Sufferings caused him, he observed at length 
for the first time that his little Daughter had 
turned round between his knees, and that he 
had struck her with a rough hand on the 
stomach I He was horror-struck ; he stag- 
gered away, threw himself upon his Bed and 
wept — wept quite inconsolably. But the 
Child came after him, stood for a long time 
in silence, then seized his hand, and besought 
him thus: My Father, do not be angry! I 
shall so soon be well again. My Mother 
says thou hast done right. Come, let me 
pray and go to bed. I have only waited for 
thee. Now the little Sand-man comes to 
close my Eyes. Come, take me to thee ; I 



A LITTLE AGNES. 



129 



will certainly for the future remain silent, as 
thou dost ! Hearest thou ? art thou asleep ? 
dear Father ! — 

This danger then appeared to be overpast. 

Almost luckily, might the guilty Father's 
Heart say, the little Agnes had some time 
afterwards a dangerous Fall; — luckily! — in 
order that he might not further imagine that 
he was the cause of the Child's Death. She 
continued sick from that day, became worse, 
and no Physician could devise aught ; even 
Wilibald, who had studied seven years at 
Padua and Bologna, only pressed the hand 
of the Father. That was intelligible enough. 

All the feelings of the Mother were again 
roused. The little Agnes' s Birthday hap- 
pened on the Holy Christmas Eve. Firmly 
resolved to have the little golden Hood and 
the white Frock, Albert, unknown to the 
Mother, had got them made in the City, and 
paid for. The Birthday Present shone in the 
twilight in the midst of the Christmas-tree, 

9 



130 A LITTLE AGNES. 



which had not yet been lighted up. The 
Mother saw it. She stood confounded as well 
as deeply mortified ; and a Remorse seized 
her, which broke out almost into a Rage 
against Albert. He wished to leave the 
room ; but at the door his Knees failed him. 
Agnes hastened after him, seized him, sup- 
ported him in her arms, scolded him and 
wept with him, while he sobbed and strug- 
gled in vain for composure. She made him 
lie down. Then she lighted up the Christ- 
mas-tree, and the Father saw, but only as in 
a Dream, everything prepared. When all 
was ready she said to him : Bring thy Child, 
and he did so. But the joy of the Child was 
extinguished ; she lifted up the little golden 
Hood and the white Frock — but scarcely 
smiled, and hid herself on her Father. The 
Angel at the top of the Christmas-tree took 
fire ; it blazed up. And the Child admired 
in her little hand the Ashes of the Angel and 
the remnant of Tinsel from the wings. 



A LITTLE AGNES. 



131 



During the Night the Child suddenly sat 
upright. Her Father talked with her for a 
long time. Then she appeared to fall into a 
slumber, but called again to him and said in 
a low voice : Dear Father ! Father, do not be 
angry ! 

Wherefore should I be angry, my Child ? 

Ah ! thou wilt certainly be very angry ! 

Tell me, I pray thee, what it is ! 

But promise me first ! 

Here, thou hast my Hand. Why, then, 
am I not to be angry ? 

Ah! Father, because I am dying! But 
weep not ! weep not too much ! My Mother 
says, thou needest thine Eyes. I would 
willingly — ah! how willingly — remain with 
thee, — but I am dying ! 

Dear Child, thou must not die ! The Suf- 
fering would be mine alone ! 

Then weep not thus ! Thou hast already 
made me so sorry ! — ah ! so sorry ! Now I 
can no longer bear it. Therefore weep not ! 



132 



A LITTLE AGNES. 



Knowest thou that when thou used to sit 
and paint and look so devout, then the beau- 
tiful Disciple whom thou didst paint for 
me, stood always at thy side ; I saw him 
plainly ! 

Now I promise thee, I will not weep ! said 
Albert, thou good little soul ! Go hence and 
bespeak a Habitation for me in our Father's 
House ; for thee and for me ! 

Albert now tried to smile, and to appear 
composed again. Then Agnes exclaimed: 
Behold ! there stands the Apostle again ! He 
beckons me! — shall I go away from thee? — 
Oh Father!. 

With strange curiosity Albert looked shud- 
dering around. Of course there was nothing 
to be seen. But whilst he looked with tear- 
ful Eyes into the dusky room, only for the 
purpose of averting his looks — the lovely 
Child had slumbered away. 

The Father laid all the Child's little Play- 
things into the Coffin with her — that he and 



A LITTLE AGNES. 133 



her Mother might never more be reminded 
of her by them — the little Gods, the Angels, 
the little Lamb, the little Coat for the Snow- 
king, and the little golden Pots and Plates. 
Over the whole, Moss and Rose-leaves. 
Thereon was she now bedded. Thus she 
lay, her Countenance white and pure, for the 
mark, the purple Cross, had disappeared 
with the Blood from her Cheeks. And now 
for the first time she had on the white Frock, 
and the golden Hood encircled her little 
Head, but not so close as to prevent a Lock 
of her Hair escaping from beneath. 

Her Father then sat down in front of her, 
and painted his Child in her Coffin. But 
the sight overpowered him; he could not 
bear it for wretchedness. The Evening Twi- 
light was come ; he laid himself on his 
Couch, and felt the Pangs and dreamed the 
Thoughts expressed in the Distich which 
Wilibald sent to him : 



134 



A LITTLE AGNES. 



Harsh Death ! why hast thou from me ta'en the lovely- 
Child ? — I had 
In it an Angel — thou a little Coffin with its Dust ! 

* =* # 

See there the Playthings idle stand; on them allur- 
ingly 

The early Sun shines down, and I as one transfixed 
stand by. 

* # # 

Whether it lived? or whether died? the Child now 
knows it not ! 

I know it well, and with the Child into the Grave am 
sinking. 

* # # 

Weep and lament ! and yet into the Earth they.bear 
thy Child ; 

Weep and lament! and yet to thee it ne'er returns 
again. 

* # # 

A thousand Mothers have been thus bereft ! shall that 
me comfort ? 

Ah ! now I only mourn the more ! I also mourn for 
them. 

* * # 

A Father's Heart is broken. Death ! thou hast had thy 
Triumph. 

Henceforth in Heaven I put my trust ; but in the Earth 
no more. 



A LITTLE AGNES. 



135 



If Sorrow to the Child thou thoughtst to bring, oh 

Death ! thou art deceived ; 
For yesterday it living laughed ; to-day, tho' dead, it 

smiles. 

# # * 

This is— Consolation ! and for the Child thy bitt'rest 
Pain 

Is at an end. Thine own is — Love ! so bear it now, as 
once 

It did enrapture thee ! and if thou know'st the Life of 
Love, 

Then wilt thou henceforth Love the Dead, and live for 
her that sleeps. 

* * # 

Agnes now entered timidly, with a light in 
her hand ; she gazed around her, advanced, 
and looked if Albert was asleep ? Having 
concluded that he was so, she went in front 
of the Child, beheld with a pallid Counte- 
nance the pure Cheek, and bending down, 
the poor soul continued weeping for a long 
time over the Child, trying at the same time 
to encircle her with her arms. She held the 
light to the little golden Hood, took it off, cut 



136 A LITTLE AGNES. 



off some of the beautiful soft Hair, concealed 
it in her Bosom, placed the little Hood again 
on the Head over which she had just been 
weeping, sprinkled the little Angel with Holy- 
Water, knelt at her feet and prayed — then 
stole away silently as she had come, and dis- 
appeared like a Spirit. 

What must have been his Thoughts ! 



HOW ALBERT BIDS FAREWELL TO HIS 
WIFE. 



Albert's greatest, yea, almost his only 
Joy in Life was now gone, and, as he well 
knew, irrecoverably gone. Agnes might well 
imagine what must now have been his feel- 
ings. She had already, in times past, pro- 
phesied evil days, if his Child should die. 
But it was not so : he was silent ; the Mother 
was silent ; the Child was never more named 
between them ; the Remembrance of her died 
away by degrees from among Men, of whom 
she had scarcely seen any. His Marriage 
remained Childless ; and thus every one, es- 
pecially in after years, believed that a Child 
had never blessed him ; and those who piqued 
themselves on their knowledge of Mankind 
accounted for Agnes 1 s deep Dejection solely 



138 



HOW ALBERT BIDS 



and confidently from the circumstance of her 
being Childless. And a Motherless Child is 
only half as unblest as a Childless Wife, 
who, shut out from her natural sphere, and 
scarcely to be amused by Vanities, sees her 
fairest Hopes cut off. She pines away and 
bends towards the ground like a half-cut 
Vine-branch, and never stands joyfully erect, 
nor looks cheerfully, loaded by her own 
Abundance, on the ripening Grapes of the 
neighbour-stocks. And this Sorrow is the 
more stinging because the subject is always 
both kindly and painfully evaded by others ; 
it must therefore be suppressed and endured 
in silence, and yet can never be forgotten. 
And thus this supposed Sorrow passed cur- 
rent as an — excuse for Ag-nes, and Albert 
confirmed the convenient belief from Love to 
her, and Respect for himself — at least he did 
so by Silence on the subject of his little 
Daughter. 

Some Lines which he found in his coat on 



FAREWELL TO HIS WIFE. 139 



returning home from the Churchyard, con- 
tributed the most to his further satisfaction. 
They thus addressed him : 

A Way I know, by which thou on thyself 

Revenge canst take for all the Ills that others 

To thee do. Angry must thou be ! Grievous 

To thee is this Life ? Offers it only 

Misery, and Sickness, and dire Poverty, 

And num'rous Hardships 1 Then thou must murmur ! 

Or fleeting is this World, and fall of Death ? 

Then thou must grieve ! Thyself thou punish'st thus, 

For others' Faults. But if thou'rt truly Wise, 

With Patience thou'lt endure whatever 

Is and must be ; and in thy pious Soul 

Thyself thou wilt rejoice — that pious Soul 

Which all surmounts, and thee of nought doth rob. 

And if the Fate of those by thee beloved 

Doth cause thee Grief, then think : they suffer nought, 

As thou, if truly Pious. Weep'st thou still ? — 

Then think : that Love thy fancied Sorrow is ! 

And be thou blest, as Love makes all who feel it ! 

And now Albert drew a Picture of him- 
self in his seven-and-twentieth year, prompt- 



140 HOW ALBERT BIDS 



ed by the following motive.* He saw, name- 
ly, how much his Countenance and his whole 
Form had changed in a few years, and he 
wished to keep — to preserve the Remem- 
brance of himself, at least in a Picture — in 
case he should soon look paler and more 
wretched. He disclaimed the idea of making 
any one happy by it, or that he could make 
himself so by means of a warmly-reflected 
Image of Happiness. To an upright man, 
indeed, Happiness is not necessary. God 
knows well upon whom he can lay the Evil 
which is as it were unavoidable in His 
World, so that it weighs little or nothing on 
those who must bear it — on the Patient and 
the Pure in Heart. Therefore Albert thank- 
ed God even for this, which he reflected on 
gladly, that of all the Houses in the World, 
his was the best into which his Agnes could 



* Master Albert sent this Picture of himself to Florence, 
to Andrea del Sarto. It founded his Fame in Italy. 



FAREWELL TO HIS WIFE. 



141 



have come, where she was as happy as it 
was possible for her to be, untroubled and 
uninjured. 

He now threw himself entirely into the 
arms of his Art. Not as to a Refuge, but 
that he might be independent and free from 
the World, as he had always formerly wished, 
and yet hoped not so to be. This, however, 
when attained, was quite indifferent to him ! 
He now began his " Little Passion," his fa- 
vourite Work, in whose Features he as it 
were deposited alL his Feelings, or depicted 
these under their quiet Sunshine, their full 
Glow and Power. 

But the Death of his Father drew him 
again, Heart and Thoughts, into the rough 
World. The God-fearing Man had spent 
all the hard-earned Gainings of his Hand, in 
bringing up his Children under such whole- 
some training and discipline as would ren- 
der them acceptable to God and Man. He 
was patient, meek, peaceable towards every 



142 HOW ALBERT BIDS 



Man ; and in the midst of perpetual honest 
Struggles, diverse Afflictions, Attacks, and 
Reverses, he had never been able to enjoy 
much Society or worldly Comfort. His Son 
Albert had no wish for what his Father had 
never been able to attain, and thus retired and 
peaceable like him, he yet excelled him in 
Contentment. 

Albert's Mother Barbara was now old and 
poor. It was needful, not that her Son 
should repay her, for that was impossible — 
but that he should show his Love to her by 
fostering her and providing for her comfort 
in her old Age, as she had fostered him and 
provided for his comfort in his Youth. His 
Father had been made happy by her — had 
been so indeed chiefly through her. She had 
always only modestly asked for what she 
wished; and what he discreetly signified to 
be his Wish, that she had always done. But 
for two whole years Agnes prevented her 
Husband from taking his Mother home to his 



FAREWELL TO HIS "WIFE. 



143 



house. Albert was indignant at this; and 
Agnes, in her turn — as if his Mother under- 
stood Housekeeping better, and were now to 
guide her — was angry at his displeasure. 
He held, however, inwardly and unalterably 
firm to what was right. He had also taken 
his Brother Johannes into his house, to in- 
struct him in his Art, but was obliged, to 
make up for this, to send away Andreas,* 
whom he assisted secretly that he might tra- 
vel and improve himself in his Art. 

When Albert now went out, his Friends 
pressed his hand more warmly. They 
praised his Paintings, his Woodcuts, his Re- 
lievos, and his other pieces of Sculpture, be- 
yond all bounds. For an honest Master 



* This brother Andreas was his sole heir, inheriting 
house, business, and all his works of art. Of these, how- 
ever, he took so little care, that the plates were abstracted 
in great numbers ; and it was at this time that so many bad 
impressions were taken from the original plates. Andreas 
was married, but died also without children. — Translator. 



144 HOW ALBERT BIDS 



certainly knows first and best which of his 
Works is good, and how accomplished. And 
no one knows so well as he, what he intend- 
ed to produce. Therefore he knows also 
what he has performed, and what he has left 
behind, God knows where. He marked 
well also the Motive of their Praise — and he 
bore it. The whole City knew also! but" 
Agnes imagined not that they knew, until 
one day a Marforio Verse, in the form of a 
short Conversation, was sent to her, she knew 
not how. It was entitled : 

" THE MASTER IN THE HOUSE." 

WIFE. 

Under the Table to retire you dare. 

HUSBAND. 

Here safer am I sure than any where ! 

"WIFE. 

Come forth directly. 

HUSBAND. 

That will I not do ! 

WIFE. 

Shall I bend down, and so take hold of you ? 
How very bold now all at once you are ! 



FAREWELL TO HIS WIFE. 



145 



HUSBAND. 

My dear ! one grows at length an Iron Bar ; 
Here, 'neath the table, will I show you, Spouse, 
That I alone am Master in the House ! 

These exaggerated words struck home. 
It is all over between us, said she, softly and 
almost weeping. Her words moved him 
even to Tears, and he could not throw off 
the impression they made on his mind. She, 
however, soon got out of humour again, and 
the more regardlessly so, since her Conduct 
in Life was now so well known that she 
could no longer conceal it even from herself 
by a Veil of Mystery. Thus Evil as well as 
Good is augmented by Publicity. 

An unamiable Wife does infinite harm, 
when by her conduct she makes all other 
Women distasteful to her husband. For 
the Wife is the Husband's Glass, through 
which he contemplates the World ; she is the 
Tuning-hammer of his Soul. But she does 
him still greater harm when she makes 
10 



146 HOW ALBERT BIDS 



others dear to him ; that is to say, when we 
learn to feel and observe as it were to the 
Glory of God, that He has made a fair and 
excellent Work when he created Eve out of 
a rib of her Husband, and now freely repeats 
the Work, as countlessly as the Sand of the 
Sea. For Albert's Love was now to sustain 
a hard trial. 

Pirkheimer 's Spouse, Crescenzia, had been 
taken away from him. Alas! poor Man! 
— for he had become poor, rich as he was. 
He desired to have a Picture of her thus: 
himself weeping at the foot of her Bed, and 
kneeling as he then knelt; Crescenzia, re- 
ceiving extreme Unction, and holding the 
Wax Taper and the Crucifix. At the bed 
was to be standing also his Sister, the Nun 
of Santa Clara. 

Her Picture — the Child had also been 
allowed to spoil. It thus cost a walk to the 
Convent. 

Clara was sitting in the Parlour. She 



FAREWELL TO HIS WIFE. 147 



was unveiled, patiently awaiting him, and 
greeted him softly with a smile, and a deli- 
cate Blush — for Virgin Modesty why she 
was there — was only perceptible because she 
looked so very pale. When she saw how- 
ever how — Years had gnawed on him — and 
a Woman sees at a glance, as the Gardener 
sees by the Fruit how the tree is flourishing, 
the Fruit of his past Life, yea the Soul of 
Man in his Countenance — then her features 
assumed the sadness which he needed for the 
Scene ! A difficult Picture ! But his Soul 
held the Colours. He thought not: If this 
sweet form, this gentle Clara were thy Ag- 
nes ! — Ah no ! he scarcely thought, If thy Ag- 
nes were like her! For his Father's Will 
was sacred to him, and sacred — her he loved ; 
for it was because he loved, that he now suf- 
fered ! and because she would not love him 
that she suffered ! 

He finished the Tablet, which was destined 
for the Church of St. Sebaldus, in his own 



148 HOW ALBERT BIDS 



house, and wrote thereon the Latin Inscrip- 
tion in gilt letters. Agnes stood and looked 
at it, and made out the beginning : Mulieri 
incomparabili — then asked what all the rest 
of the words meant ? Albert wished to be 
silent ; but, after having composed himself, 
he said to her, They are — " To the incom- 
parable Woman and Wife, my Clara Cre- 
scenzia, I, Wilibahl Pirkheimer, her Hus- 
band, whom she never disturbed* but by her 
Death, erect this Monument. 

Agnes was angry, as if he had said these 
words to her from his own Heart ! and Clara 
the pale Nun, who in the Picture was look- 
ing away from Crescenzia for sorrow, now 
seemed to look at her! But no Tear fell 
from her Eye. Albert alone wept. 

He prepared himself now for his Journey. 
And as he parted from his Mother, she gave 
him her hand, held it for a time, and only 



* Turbavit — grieved.— W. P. 



FAREWELL TO HIS WIFE. 149 



gently said : Rely meanwhile on thy Wife ! 
I dare not allow it to be remarked how much 
I love thee, else she will become my Enemy. 
Whoever does not consider her in the right, be- 
comes suspicious to her. And yet she is ex- 
cellent, as excellent as her Sister, who is firm 
in Honour ; and both are certainly God-fear- 
ing Women ! But yet it is evident, and I 
must myself confess it, Fidelity is only one 
Virtue in a Woman, and perhaps, for as sa- 
cred and essential as it is — yet not the best. 
For the peace of her Husband she must pos- 
sess many others besides. It were certainly 
better, as Pirkheimer said * Yet be- 
lieve me, she reserves her Love for thee 
alone, perhaps till she — or till thou ■ 

* What he said, will be found in the Life of Albert Dilrer 
by Both, published at Leipzig by Dt/k, in 1791, page 21. — 
But I do not wish to say anything injurious ! — /, The Edi- 
tor. 

This, or at least the substance of it, has been given in the 
Preface. — Translator. 



150 HOW ALBERT BIDS 



She broke off. 

Albert remained more than a year in Ven- 
ice. And here, placed again in the living 
wrestling World, full of young Minds who 
were opening up new Paths, he perceived 
how salutary it is for an Artist to tear him- 
self away from his circumscribed path in the 
midst of his days, that he may once more 
have a free view of his fellow-creatures in 
the World around him. He becomes young 
again. His Life has two Springs. He re- 
ceives new impressions, and by means of 
already cultivated Art, executes what he has 
newly conceived with Mind and Vigour. 
He thus once more, as it were, branches out, 
and new Tendrils shoot forth — and only on 
young yearly Shoots do Grapes grow ! 
Should he neglect this, then he becomes by 
degrees stiff, and as it were petrified, even in 
those which are considered his best Compo- 
sitions. 

Alberts Works had reached even to that 



FAREWELL TO HIS WIFE. 151 



City ; and it appeared strange to the Italians 
that everything good and beautiful was no 
longer to come from Rome and Byzantium, 
and wander towards the cold North, without 
remuneration in the way of Money; nay, 
that Time had now begun to reverse the 
order of things, and that Light and Power, 
and Reason and Art, should now come to- 
wards the South from the Barbarians to the 
sinking Nations! And what he had devised 
amidst Sufferings and Sorrow, lying on his 
couch in Silence and in Darkness, and after- 
wards accomplished in his lonely little Cham- 
ber, as if for no one but himself, now shone 
in the Sunshine of the Distance, and gave 
Delight to Men. Thus he looked upon his 
own Works with Thankfulness, and stood 
before them with folded hands. The old 
Masters looked at him sullenly ; those of his 
own age blushed ; the younger were full of 
bashful Ardour. That was a sufficient re- 
ward for him for all — besides t It imparted 



152 



HOW ALEERT BIDS 



to him the satisfaction which the Artist, al- 
most burying himself, labours Day and Night 
to attain. For the Mind of Man is wonder- 
fully and almost laughably formed ; and it 
is also modestly limited in its Desires. For 
all his lifelong Difficulties and Vexations, he 
desires only Recognition, not so much as 
Praise. Even the Hound runs itself to Death 
after the Hare, if his Master only says to him, 
thou art a brave Apollo. The Soldier who 
is accounted brave goes like a Demigod into 
the tumult of the Fight, and perishes therein, 
as if a Man could and should be nothing else 
than a slaughterer of his Fellow-men. The 
"Wife who toils during her whole Life with 
House and Field and Children, goes fresh 
under the Yoke again on Monday if she has 
sat for an Hour well dressed on Sunday af- 
ternoon, and traces nothing more of the 
World than God's Sunshine and her own 
weary Hands, if her Husband only says to 
her, Truly thou art a diligent Wife, and dost 



FAREWELL TO HIS WIFE. 153 



thy duty. So is it also with the Artist. These 
words, " Thou hast painted a good Picture," 
satisfies his Heart — for he has honestly done 
that which the Lord has given him ability to 
do. And therefore is the small satisfaction 
not contemptible ; for the Work which the 
Lord has dealt out to the Human Race is 
performed everywhere with fidelity, but in 
truth through Recognition alone- — and with- 
out Reward, for it yields only clear Conscious- 
ness. And that is enough for such a noble 
creature as Man. He labours in his Fathers 
Vineyard, and is his Child. 

But other Honours also awaited him in 
Italy. The Master Bellino wished to have 
the very Pencil from him with which he 
painted Hair so very minutely, and yet many 
at a time. Marcantanio Raimondi made 
Counterfeits of his Plates. Andrea Mantegna 
wished to see him, and wrote to him with a 
trembling hand, while sick unto death. He 
went to Padua, and found the incomparable 



154 



HOW ALBERT BIDS 



Master — dead. The longing had kept him 
in Life till within a few minutes before : his 
Eyes were not yet closed. In Bologna they 
were content to die, now that they had seen 
him Face to Face ; — so enraptured were they 
with his Works. The almost youthful Raph- 
ael Sanzio took Albert's simple Landscapes 
as Backgrounds and Corners for his Pictures. 
But false reports were also spread among the 
people, in which Lies had all ihe influence 
and effect of Truth. Buonarotti was said to 
have torn Albert's Drawings, and burnt his 
Paintings : no Painter does that. But it was 
to him a signal proof, as well of the Incapa- 
city of the World to judge, going on as it 
does eternally echoing what gifted Spirits 
have suggested ; — and that is a sad thing for 
the genuine Masters and for the value of their 
Art! — and it was partly to him a proof of 
this, that all things become living Legends, 
Diligence and Skill, as well as Life and Ac- 
tion — and that it may be considered a valua- 



FAREWELL TO HIS WIFE. 155 



ble piece of good fortune when an Artist 
pleases the People, for he has after his own 
manner responded to the contemporaneous 
tendency and manner of thinking, and exhib- 
ited to Mankind what they were anticipating 
and striving after. When these claims are 
extinguished with the revolving Generations, 
then he becomes nothing but a mere Legend. 

Our dear Master stood much in need of 
this renewed vigour of Heart and Mind, when 
he returned home to his Wife. He gave her 
an account of his Expenses. 

While he stood on sure ground, and ex- 
cited also by the cheerfulness of the Italians, 
he had, to please her, learned to dance. But 
so irksome did he find it, that he had only 
taken two Lessons: this cost one Ducat. 

It was indeed impossible for him to trans- 
port himself suddenly into the midst of dis- 
turbing and intoxicating worldly things, from 
the faithful, devoted, often pious Thoughts 
which, induced by his Art, continually occu- 



156 HOW ALBERT BIDS 



pied his Mind : and from the longing retired 
Feelings which his high Conceptions always 
produced in him; and although it did not 
hurt, but rather on the contrary furthered him, 
to see and to hear all the Merriment of the 
People, yet he could not think of carrying it 
so far as to make a moving Doll of his own 
Body. For that his feet always failed him. 

The Painters had sued him three times, 
because, without belonging to any of their 
Schools, he had painted in Venice. That 
cost four Florins. 

The ride to Bologna, to improve himself 
in the mysterious Art of Pe?'spectiva, cost 
money — and this Art could not be exhibited 
to Agnes. 

He had intended to bring her a piece of 
oriental woollen Cloth ; but the house in 
which he was took fire; the oriental Cloth 
was burnt. It cost, notwithstanding, eight 
Ducats. 

He had lent eight Ducats to a poor Paint- 



FAREWELL TO HIS WIFE. 157 



er, who was going to Rome for the purpose 
of secretly disinterring again the old Pictures 
which Raphael had left choked up in the 
Baths * But the man died at Rome in his 
debt. 

A year before the period of this Journey, 
Raphael had sent his Picture to Albert, 
painted elaborately by himself ; and now 
Albert sent his in water colours, also elabo- 
rately painted, to Raphael, whose Picture of 

* At the time that Raffaello was charged by Pope Leo X. 
with the decoration of the Loggie of the Vatican, the inte- 
rior of the Baths of Titus had just been discovered. The 
paintings were in all their original freshness and splendour, 
of a brilliancy of which the external air and various acci- 
dents have since deprived them; thus owing their entire 
preservation to the very cause which had created their ob- 
livion. According to one tradition, Raffaello copied, and 
afterwards destroyed, some portions of the arabesque orna- 
ments, in order to claim the invention of them ; but this al- 
legation has been fully contradicted, as he has merely adopt- 
ed their spirit and taste, but without borrowing from them 
a single idea of any importance. See the " Life and Works 
of Raffaello," by Quatremere de Quincy. — Translator. 



158 



HOW ALBERT BIDS 



the Entombment of Christ had become the 
foundation of his fair Fame.* 

Now, because Albert had brought nothing 
Home, and had only mere projects to offer, 
Agnes sold the Raphael painted by Raphael, 
for a paltry Sum of Money. That was bit- 
terer to him than if Raphael had sold him. 
For we have an understanding from afar 
with him whose Picture we possess ; the 
Soul sees no Giant in a misty form ready to 
overthrow us with invisible Weapons. No, 
he looks at us as lovingly, as quietly, and as 
attentively — as we look at him ; he is a Man, 
and thus we also feel humanly. But — Al- 
bert had sent his Picture with this desire also, 
that he might be judged of by a Master in 
his own Department — that he might let him 
see himself. For the Masters are the true 
Lights, who can best elucidate and judge of 



* This picture is now the chief ornament of the Borghese 
gallery at Rome.— Translator. 



FAREWELL TO HIS WIFE. 



159 



Compositions in their own Art. Thus only 
can a Work be understood and known — then 
it is, indeed, that the Master understands his 
own Work ! To be judged of by the World 
in general, neither improves nor refreshes 
him. 

But all these Evils were atoned for, by a 
great Sum of Money, nearly Eleven hundred 
Rhenish Florins, that Albert received from 
the Emperor, Rodolph IE, for a Picture of 
the Martyrdom of St. Bartholomew, which 
he had painted in Venice, and which, well 
packed in bales, two strong Men on foot had 
carried on Poles from Venice to Prague. 

Then there was Joy in the House ! Mis- 
tress Agnes prepared some strong foaming 
Chocolate, which new beverage she had 
heard much vaunted, and with long sup- 
pressed desire to partake of. During the 
sipping of the same, she now in her usual 
way spoke of everything which she would 
procure, as pleasantly as the Drink fell plea- 



160 



HOW ALBERT BIDS 



santly on her Tongue. The things she now 
saw so sweetly in her Mind's Eye, she after- 
wards provided herself with ; good household 
Furniture, pretty Dresses, Trunks, Drawers, 
Pewter vessels, all the requisites for Needle- 
work. Now there was abundance going on 
— cutting, sewing, trimming, and putting in 
order ! At last Master Albert laid down the 
Receipt before her, showing that he had paid 
the whole of his Debts in Venice. She tore 
the paper for Joy. When the bright Sun 
shone into the Room and the polished Tin 
glistened, then Agnes sat down pleasantly 
and played again on the Harp. She smiled 
quite benignantly Night and Morning from 
beneath the new Bedclothes. She even al- 
lowed herself to be drawn by her Husband 
in a Picture which represented Adam and 
Eve, and the beautiful Agnes was the beau- 
tiful Eve. Albert had for a long time wished 
to draw the innocent Pair, but had never 
ventured, for want of an Eve. Now he sue- 



FAREWELL TO HIS WIFE. 161 



ceeded in the Picture, and a Stone was re- 
moved from his Heart. He also struck a 
Medal of her. In it she is represented with 
her Innocent lovely Countenance looking 
upwards. She was delighted with the De- 
sign, and the Master was pleased that she 
was pleased. Yet she willingly took Twelve 
hundred Rhenish Florins for the picture of 
Adam and Eve, and it was hung up in the 
splendid Hall in the Fortress .* The House 
was paid ; and then Agnes looked out at the 
Window with him one Sunday as the peo- 
ple were coming from Church. Her Locks 
hung beautifully down her soft Cheeks, and 
the Master looked through between them 
and watched with delight her roguish Eye. 
She was quite beautiful, and he came to the 



* This picture is still to be seen in the palace of Prague. 
The fortress or imperial castle of Nitrnberg is a building of 
great antiquity, where the Emperors resided during the 
middle ages. The King of Bavaria now uses it when in 
the city. — Translator. 

11 



162 HOW ALBERT BIDS 



conclusion that he would marry her again, if 
she had not already been his Wife. 

All at once there was a hollow Sound of 
heavy Footsteps! They were carrying a 
little Girl in an open Coffin, adorned with 
garlands of Flowers, out at the Gate. The 
Parents came weeping behind. Agnes 
changed color. Albert went from the Win- 
dow. 

Alas! that the Remembrance of the old 
Days should spoil the new ! that Grief is 
born with the Death of those dear to us! 
He who has known a deep and bitter Grief, 
need no longer strive after Happiness, but 
only after Peace, after inward Composure 
and Forgetfulness ; else he heaps up to him- 
self Sorrow on Sorrow ; and even if he 
should attain to what seems the Crown of 
Happiness, yet the Jewel is wanting thereto, 
.the ornamental Stone — in the Cross ! There- 
fore life-long Meekness must be the Por- 
tion of him whose Heart is broken ! also 



FAREWELL TO HIS WIFE. 163 



reverential Resignation to Him who has or- 
dained it for him. In Piety alone is con- 
stant satisfaction to be found. And it is God 
who has given him this also, and with it all 
things. 

Physicians call a recurrence of the same 
Malady to one scarcely recovered, a Relapse ; 
which is always more dangerous, and for a 
longer time prostrating, than the Sickness 
which attacks healthy Persons ; for the Pa- 
tient is now more irritable. — Albert was 
moved; and he began to pity Agnes also. 
Yet — even old Wounds that have been torn 
open, close again! But even now, in her 
more prosperous condition, Agnes was not 
happy, because her Parents were still in in- 
digence! Her own better Lot oppressed 
her ! He sympathized with her Sorrow, for 
she could not be happy ; and neither could 
he, for Happiness seemed out of his reach. 
He felt the prevailing power of Family Ties, 
which bind more closely than frivolous per- 



164 HOW ALBERT BIDS 



sons imagine, for in this way Nature enlarges 
the circle of Domestic Life and gives a more 
cordial view of Man's earthly condition. A 
Man marries not only his Mother-in-law, but 
also all the Relations of his Wife. What is 
for their advantage or disadvantage affects 
him also. He is not rich and happy till they 
are all above want. The World therefore 
considers it a Disgrace to him who does not 
feel himself still more bound to her Family 
than he is to his Wife, even if she were a 
Paragon, a Jewel among them. So much 
the more desirable is it, therefore, to stand 
well with all her Relations, be they who they 
may, because otherwise the connection once 
entered into brings still greater Evils with it. 

Agnes always thought that Albert looked 
down upon her Family, all of them Artisans, 
with the exception of her Father, the Opti- 
cian, who came into the City to the Festi- 
vals, and played on the Harp and sung ; also 
loved a good Glass of Wine ; also could not 



FAREWELL TO HIS WIFE. 



165 



refuse the last — the intoxicating one, after 
which he came and loaded his Daughter 
with Reproaches, uttered with a smiling- 
mien, till he moved himself to Tears by his 
own Admonitions ! Or he sang very comi- 
cally, in the voice of the Husband and Wife 
alternately, the Song of " The Master in the 
House." Nay, it was said that he himself 
had made the Song to show his Displeasure. 
This irritated his Daughter, as might be sup- 
posed. Albert smiled at the old man, for 
there is Truth in Wine. He could only 
venture now to love and praise the poor man 
with great limitation ; but in truth he esteem- 
ed all her Relations. For him there was 
neither Condition nor Rank nor Riches in 
the World. All its thousand Trifles, — its 
thronging and striving and outbidding, trou- 
bled him not. He strove only after one thing, 
and lived in a world of his own. Every one 
was valued by him at what he was; yea he 
even rated him at that which he wished to 



166 HOW ALBERT BIDS 



be ; for as an Artist he desired himself to be 
honoured, as one who knows belter than all 
others what is the true genuine worth of 
everything he has meditated, and which he 
wishes or is able to call into Existence. 
Only he now learned that it is not right to do 
good too secretly, so that even our right Hand, 
our Wife, knows it not. Therein he was 
wrong! For in this way many who are in 
Need know not where to find Help. 

To all the old Burdens was now added 
this. And as Bodies apparently increase in 
Weight the deeper they sink, so much the 
more heavily presses a Burden which has 
been borne Days, Months, Years. And that 
any one bears it willingly, lessens only the 
Complaints on account of it. He wished to 
work, she wished Money ; and luckily both 
Desires were gratified. And it is quite rea- 
sonable that many should strive after one 
thing, but with different views ; only no one 
should evil interpret ihose of the other, or 



FAREWELL TO HIS WIFE. 



167 



force his own upon him. It was thus that 
Albert learnt to represent all the Passions, 
the more strikingly they were painted, yea 
burnt into the peaceful Mirror of his Soul. 
A knowledge of good and evil Passions fur- 
thers the Artist: Love, Joy, Pleasure, Pa- 
tience, Compassion, Devotion, Astonishment, 
Horror, Wrath, Sadness, Envy, Hatred — all 
these he succeeded in depicting, because he 
was Master of them ; and with thankful and 
upright heart he considered himself fortunate 
as — a Painter, and therefore also as a Man. 

Meanwhile — the Passions of those whom 
we love are infectious ! And Albert painted 
and carved and moulded many things ac- 
cording to her Views — and to give her Plea- 
sure. His House was a daily School of Dis- 
cipline: not to be avaricious, or sulky, or 
quarrelsome ; or yet dictatorial, unreasonable, 
and supercilious when everything succeeded 
to a wish. For all the Faults of a Man 
usually proceed from one and the same source. 



168 



HOW ALBERT BIDS 



It could scarcely be said that Fame now gave 
him Pleasure, — he lived by it as it were in a 
sustained elevated condition, which exercised 
an advantageous influence on his Works ; 
for the World gains for the most part by the 
Praise bestowed by itself on the Artist — and 
when Students of the Arts and Masters made 
a Pilgrimage from Italy to Frankfort to see 
his Ascension of St. Mary,* he only uttered 
a gloomy Indeed! thereto. For he almost 
feared to send a Painting to a new place ; — 
first on account of the Praise — and then on 
account of the Pity. For he who did not 
admire him as a Painter, and yet could 
not well contend against his Worth, conceal- 
ed his Envy by compassionating him as a 
Man — and then he could call him an unfor- 
tunate Painter. A confidential Friend re- 



* This magnificent picture, which was afterwards bought 
by the Elector Maximilian of Bavaria for 10,000 florins, 
perished when the Castle of Munich was burnt in 1674. — 
Translator. 



FAREWELL TO HIS WIFE. 169 



counted to him that Buonarolti had deter- 
mined to make Art his Wife ; and it was al- 
so said of Raphael, that he wished rather to 
belong to Woman in general, than that one 
woman should belong to him. 

This grieved Albert much, not only for 
the sake of the Men themselves, but chiefly 
for Agnes' } s sake. He laboured much ; and 
by degrees, in the course of years, many Du- 
cats came in, which Agnes brightened up 
and preserved. They were all indeed to be 
for her. At first she only meant to save as 
much of the Gold as would keep her above 
want during the few years she might outlive 
him, being younger than he ; then, there must 
be sufficient to enable her to live as well as 
she had been accustomed to do ; but at last, 
the Interest of the Money must be sufficient 
for that purpose. So true is it that the Chil- 
dren of Men, all of them, and everywhere, 
are born with an equally strong desire for 
worldly Prosperity. They wish to have and 



170 



HOW ALBERT BIDS 



to enjoy everything; but all of them cannot 
do so. And the season of Youth is just the 
time for becoming inured, under the parental 
roof, to the Condition which must be entered 
on and endured in after life, and in which 
success may probably be obtained ; and the 
Father's House is the step from which this 
Life begins. Man's future Life, therefore, so 
viewed, is just the Limitation of all the De- 
sires of the human Mind to the Measure of 
Right, and to the Standard of what is con- 
sistent with the well-being of others. It is 
also at the same time the School of Patience 
and of Wisdom ; it teaches every one to be 
content with that which Life can afford him ; 
and in what has been vouchsafed him, to dis- 
cover every human Happiness, to carry his 
own into it, or place it therein. He who does 
not learn from Life, but continues during its 
whole course to put forth the usual Claims, 
uncurbed by a thousand Mortifications, un- 
diminished, yea louder and more angrily — 



FAREWELL TO HIS WIFE. 171 



he must be dissatisfied, the more vehement 
his Longings, the greater the Claims that 
Youth and Beauty, Skill and good Fortune 
in general, appear to give him. He does not 
prize the Blessings which he possesses ; nay 
he rejects them and enjoys them not, till he 
becomes wise — that is to say, till they vanish 
away from him. 

Albert's Mother Barbara now also died. 
She was a Daughter of Kunigunde, the 
Daughter of Oellinger von Weissentnirg, and 
therefore of gentle Birth. Agnes had ima- 
gined that she must be proud and look down 
upon her with contempt. This supposition 
wounded her pure natural Feelings, and her 
notions of the Dignity of human Nature. 
She therefore wished to combat it ; and thus 
his Mother had to endure scornful Words, 
Derision, and even Fear. But the pious 
Woman suffered nothing therefrom, because 
she forgave everything to the Wife of her 
Son, and departed, absolved by Papal Power 



172 HOW ALBERT BIDS 



from Pain and Guilt. God be gracious to 
her! 

She had lived nine years in her Son's 
House, and he missed her sadly ; for he had 
only to look into her Eyes, only to hear an 
encouraging Word from her — " My Son !" — 
and he was refreshed and meek as before. 
Her Eyes were now closed — what could he 
have done ? A Man is no Judge between 
his Mother and his Wife ; and where Love 
does not reconcile, all other attempts only in- 
crease the Evil. 

There was now indeed greater Stillness in 
the House than ever. From all that had 
passed, Agnes began to be suspicious even 
of the Praise which her Husband bestowed 
on her, thinking it was only in Mockery. 
How ready she was to apply to herself what 
was passing around her, may be judged of by 
this instance, that one day, when he wrote a 
large Seven on the black table, as the product 
of a mental Calculation, and then went away, 



FAREWELL TO HIS WIFE. 173 



she thought it alluded to her as the evil-re- 
nowned Seven.* If he smiled, then she 
wept; if he pitied the poor, shy, frightened. 
Child, then she laughed. And thus he pass- 
ed with the same grave undisturbed mien 
through the hundred-coloured Days. She 
called that Indifference, Coldness! But he 
would not have suffered if he could at last 
have become indifferent to his Wife. The 
Faults of those we love cause us double An- 
guish: they — ah! they should be more pure 
and faultless than we ! And she never con- 
fessed a Fault, and he concealed them from 
himself, and still hoped for peaceful Days — 
of Harvest. 

Albert's tender-hearted Scholar now played 
him a sorry Trick. He felt for his Master 
more than if he had been his Father, and 
thinking that Albert's death would make a 
good and lasting impression on Agnes, he 

* In Germany it is vulgarly said of a shrewish or mis- 
chievous woman, that she is a Bad Se\ en.— Translator. 



174 



HOW ALBERT BIDS 



had strapped on his Bundle, and taken leave 
of them, but had returned in the dark and 
gone into Albert's painting room. He then 
put the pale Wax Mask, which had been 
faithfully copied from Albert's Bust, on a 
clothed figure which was to represent Albert, 
and put on it also his old Painter's Coat be- 
daubed with Colours. 

He so placed it as to lead to the supposi- 
tion that it had fallen from the Ladder, and 
poured dark-red colors, like Blood, over it. 
He then knocked suddenly and alarmingly 
at Agnes' s door, who ran into the Room hor- 
ror-struck with a Light in her hand, and 
stood astonished and petrified before her 
dead Albert, knelt down by him, and wiped 
the Blood from his Forehead. Albert, who 
had just come home, then entered : she 
looked round, and thought it was his Ghost 
that she saw stalking towards her. He 
spoke, and she recognised him, but thrust 
him from her blood-red with Anger. She 



FAREWELL TO HIS WIFE. 



175 



then wished to make her escape, but the 
Light having been extinguished by the 
draught from her dress, she could not find 
the Door. At length, both having composed 
themselves, ihey embraced in the Dark, and 
wept bitterly. 

Dost thou know what has happened, my 
Agnes ? asked Albert at last. Thou art 
alive ! said she. No, replied he ; Raphael 
is dead ! Leonardo da Vinci is dead ! These 
tidings reached me to-day at the same mo- 
ment! 

She let go her hold of him. The Might 
of Heaven, the Nothingness of the Earth 
which lay in these Words — " Raphael is 
dead," fell like a Thunderbolt. The Night 
was amicably spent. Agnes besought him 
to travel into the Netherlands, and to accept 
the Emperor's Invitation, that he might have 
Recreation. Then he would certainly no 
longer need to paint. She was as much 
struck as was the whole of Europe, Her 



176 



HOW ALBERT BIDS 



Husband had been for her as it were twice 
restored to Life this Day. And it is quite 
amazing, and borders on the fabulous, how 
much a great Man gains by the Death of a 
great Man. He rises in value three-fold, 
like the Sibylline Books. Because he has 
outlived the other, so he appears also to 
outbid him ; Hope yet shines on his Path, 
and the Words uttered in his Praise are 
laid by his Friends on the Scale of the Liv- 
ing, which they often blow up by empty 
breath and idle praise ; — whilst the Dead, 
numbered with the Dead, with that prime- 
val, silent, inactive Company, are dispatched 
with the words : De mortuis nil nisi bene 
(Say nothing but good of the dead.) More- 
over, if he has become old, if he has out- 
lived the Masters of his time, then he be- 
comes by the Grace of God a Support to 
the Arts and to those who understand Art. 
For Age is even in this respect a wonderful 
Gift of Grace. Yea, the most wretched 



FAREWELL TO HIS WIFE. 



177 



Writer of Comedies in the time of Aristo- 
phanes, has only to appear boldly among us 
now, and he would be an Oracle of the 
Age ; if he were only to sit and say nothing 
but the Words : That is fine ! that is bad ! 
yet from Reverence for his long fabulous 
silver Beard, and because of the Miracle of 
his Existence, he would be chosen as a 
Judge, and his Wisdom praised. Albert 
was almost ashamed to live, now that 
Raphael was dead. Yet he lived in his 
Works — 

Now Agnes was not willing to let him 
go alone, because it seemed probable to her 
that he might not return again. But he felt 
bound to her by Gratitude; for there was 
never an Evening or a Morning in which 
he forgot that it was through her he had 
been so happy as to possess a Child — 
through her alone that he had possessed this 
beloved Child. He had only to think of the 
little Agnes, and it was enough for his Heart, 



178 HOW ALBERT BIDS 



enough to make him honor his Wife, and 
feel drawn towards her. Otherwise he might 

perhaps long ago but there was no such 

otherwise. 

Agnes and Susanna now set out with him. 
The Honours he received in the Towns 
through which they passed were valued by 
him, only because they gave him value in 
Agnes's eyes — or rather Toleration. That 
was certainly not the right Feeling. But 
was it doing any harm to the World, as we 
understand it? Or should we not turn its 
Blessings to the best account for ourselves ? 
Therefore he gave away Pictures, such as 
that of St. Anna and St. Mary, with the 
Infant Christ, to the Bishop of Bamberg, 
because he had invited him to be his Guest, 
and had paid for him at the Inn. At Ant- 
werp the Painters invited him to their 
Rooms, with his Wife and Susanna. They 
had a complete Service of Plate, other costly 
Ornaments, and an extravagantly fine Din- 



FAREWELL TO HIS WIFE. 179 



ner. Their Wives were also there. "When 
he was conducted to Table, there was a 
Crowd of People on both sides, as if he 
had been a Lord ; and among them were 
several persons of eminence, who showed 
their Respect for him, by profound Rever- 
ences. Late in the night they all accompa- 
nied him and his Wife home with Torches. 
Agnes could not sufficiently express her 
Amazement, and became quite perplexed and 
meditative. 

Albert received a sad but salutary warn- 
ing, when, having left his Wife in Antwerp, 
and taken shipping on the coast, with the 
intention of disembarking again at Armyud, 
he was prevented by a Tempest, which 
broke the Gable, and drove him out into the 
midst of the frightful Billows of the Sea. 
During the Danger he became conscious 
that his Agnes might, must, and would one 
Day live without him ! This Feeling slum- 
bered in his Heart from that Day, and like 



180 HOW ALBERT BIDS 



a living Being, opened sometimes an Eye 
and looked at him, or moved within him. 

He now went from Antwerp to Mechlin. 
Margaret, the Sister of Charles V.,* wished 
to see his Agnes. She said she would 
rather die than allow herself to be rated and 
scrutinized Body and Soul by the haughty, 
crafty Dame, without daring to utter a Word 
in return. But it was of no use kicking and 
struggling. She adorned herself in the midst 
of Tears. 

Margaret however received the still beau- 
tiful Agnes, who had put on her most amia- 
ble Countenance, very kindly. She desired her 
to sit down, and brought to her herself Wine 
and the finest Pastry. You are our dear 



* This is a mistake of the author. Charles V. had no 
sister of that name. Margaret, daughter of the Emperor 
Maximilian, and aunt of Charles, at that time Governess 
of the Netherlands, must he the person meant. Dilrer 
himself makes the same mistake in his journal. — Trans- 
lator. 



FAREWELL TO HIS WIFE. 181 



Mistress Agnes, said she to her, for you know 
how to value an Artist, so as to benefit him 
and the World. An Artist's Marriage is, it 
is true, only that of a Man, and the Wife is 
the Husband's Help and Comfort, whatever 
be his calling or station. And every Hus- 
band stands in need of Encouragement, of 
Cheerfulness, of Peace in his Home, to ena- 
ble him to bear what Life brings with it, and 
still to preserve the power of working for the 
benefit of Mankind. Cheerfulness gives the 
highest Power to do, and to endure, my beau- 
tiful Angel. But if he find a gloomy Coun- 
tenance at Home, where formerly his smiling 
Wife sat ; if he hear nothing, or a Murmur, 
from whence formerly sweet Words pene- 
trated his Heart; if he feel better and hap- 
pier elsewhere than in his own Home, then 
Good-night to Peace, Good-night to Mar- 
riage. W T hen Husbands remain out of their 
own Houses as often as possible during the 
Day, and as long as possible during the Eve- 



182 HOW ALBERT BIDS 



ning, seeking for Happiness elsewhere, then 
that is a sign that Marriage is good for noth- 
ing to the Man, or to the Wife, or to both to- 
gether. For had one of them been only 
properly mild and reasonable, patient and 
firm ; and the other only yielding and willing 
to receive Instruction ; then both might have 
found Happiness and held it fast. Friend- 
ship, even with the Friends of our Youth, 
must be very much limited in Marriage — for 
the Wife is the Husband r s best Friend. 
And to every one his own. Only the disap- 
pointed have recourse to their old Friends 
again. But your Albert, dear, beautiful Ag- 
nes, remains kindly at Home, as I hear, and 
throws no false colour on you, but the true 
one — on himself. 

Agnes burned to speak, and if her Hus- 
band during many long Years had learned 
to read every one of her Features, she would 
then have said : Is this Mockery ? How ! 
are the Great then like Pulpit Orators, to 



FAREWELL TO HIS WIFE. 183 



whom no one can utter one word in reply, 
but may only think and smile ? But hereaf- 
ter! only have Patience! Certainly one can 
injure another by flattering words, so that he 
can say nothing in reply — but he who is fair 
and just, so regulates his talk, that he injures 
the Feelings of none. Thou cunning One ! 

Margaret then took Agnes\s Hand, pulled 
off her Glove, looked at the little delicate 
white Hand, stroked it, and held her own 
near it, as if she were measuring the Fingers. 
She then chose from a little Jewel-Box one 
of the most beautiful of many Rings, put it 
on Agnes' s Finger, and said graciously : 
Take this from me as a token of the Grati- 
tude of all your Husband's Friends. For I 
honour and love him much — with such a 
Love as can make no Woman jealous, not 
even you, beautiful Agnes. I love his Mind 
and what he brings forth from it ; you love 
himself, you alone possess him, his Heart, 
his Feelings, and his earthly Existence. But 



184 HOW ALBERT BIDS 



it is proper, and yet not rightly understood 
among Men, that the World should in an es- 
pecial manner honour the Wife of the Ar- 
tist! For she is the Honour of his House. 
If she is not happy, then his Happiness is — 
Unhappiness. She is united to him as the 
Elm is to the Vine ; he is the sweet, the pro- 
ductive part to the World ; but she holds and 
supports him, so that he brings forth Grapes ; 
and without her — he sinks to the Ground. 

She turned away for a Moment. At the 
sight of her moist Eyes, Albert's fell to the 
Ground. Agnes held the Glass very pictu- 
resquely to her purple Lips, and appeared to 
be sipping some of the sparkling Wine. 

Drink not so, good Agnes, continued Mar- 
garet. Drink to the Health of your own 
Master : Long Life and happy Days ! 

And Agnes whispered, looking at her and 
not at him: Long Life and happy Days! 

That is as it ought to be, said the Princess. 
Now your Health must also be drunk by him 



FAREWELL TO HIS WIFE. 185 



and by me! for as the Artist cannot work, if 
only a Cloud — nay, even the Shadow of a 
Cloud — darken his Soul, not to speak of a 
Sorrow which tears his Heart, — and if it is 
only by the great, free, superior power of a 
pure Nature that he can work, but withal be- 
comes therethrough fully abstracted and re- 
leased from worldly things, and at last with 
mild Ardour reverences the Saints still more 
than he feels an ardent desire to represent 
them, — then I drink to your Health! We 
have to thank you for the great number of 
the Master's Works! You fan away Care 
from him ; he is free from human Wants 
through you. For what Utile the Artist has 
need of on Earth, and yet must continue to 
demand from it, that you bestow upon him 
lovingly, so that he scarcely knows whence 
it has come to him ; were it not that he re- 
cognises your quiet beneficent Angel's Hand 
in the Gift, by the calm Peace which reigns 
around him ! Thus he traces nothing of the 



186 



HOW ALBERT BIDS 



rough World — but your Love, which like a 
mild spring Sunshine makes his Heart large 
and his Soul great. Therefore it is your 
good Fortune to share the enthusiastic Joy 
which carries him as it were a step further on 
the Path of Life — as if Heavenly Spirits had 
ministered to his Soul — when he beholds an- 
other Work completed by his own Hand. 
But there is a God who rewards not only 
Pain : no, dear Agnes, he rewards also pure, 
loving Joy ! And for everything that you do 
and are to your Husband, God will reward 
you. Believe that of a surety. 

What frightful things she says ! Were it 
indeed so! muttered Agnes, staring before 
her. Then recovering herself, she turned to 
Margaret, and said: Gracious lady! I un- 
derstand you; but you do not understand 
me ; and yet you are a Woman. So be it ! 
I can endure this no longer. But mark well ! 
human Judgment is defective : He alone can 
judge who knows all Hearts; but He judges 



FAREWELL TO HIS WIFE. 



137 



not, because he knows them, and because He 
formed them. 

You know, said Margaret, turning to Al- 
bert, that the Emperor said, when a Noble- 
man was not willing to hold the Ladder to 
you at his command, because he thought his 
Nobility would thereby be sullied — that you 
were, on account of the excellency of your 
Art, greater than a Nobleman, because he 
could make any Peasant a Nobleman, but 
could not make a Nobleman an Artist; — 
here then the Emperor presents to you also 
the golden Chain, the Badge and Ornament 
of a Knight.* You are this day invited to 
his Table ; you are also appointed his Court 
Painter. Therefore, if you feel as you speak, 

* It was Maximilian who bestowed letters of nobility, and 
also a handsome pension, on Diirer ; but he continued af- 
terwards to experience the liberality of the illustrious Charles 
V. and his brother Ferdinand, King of Hungary. The 
golden chain is of course the same that is mentioned by the 
author as having been laid aside by Diirer on his deathbed. 
— Translator. 



188 



HOW ALBERT BIDS 



dear Agnes, you will rejoice in the Honours 
of your Husband! Your name will live 
with his, when we, whose Appanage in Life 
has been high Rank, shall appear only as 
Names on the withered genealogical Tree, 
only as faded Ink. — Now go in peace. 

Agnes hastened away, her Face much 
flushed. Margaret made a Sign to Albert 
to come back again. She stood a little while 
mute and contemplative; she then said to 
him: I am sorry for the poor Child never- 
theless — she is but a Woman ; and I cannot 
conceal from you, that / should not like to 
have such a perfect Husband, who lives in 
Heaven, and only descends sometimes gra- 
ciously to dwell with us on Earth ; and who, 
removed beyond the reach of Woman's 
Judgment, is himself just so much the more 
praised and honoured. We Women prefer 
a human being like ourselves. 

Albert made an obeisance. Then Marga- 
ret observed the Ring in the bottom of the 



FAREWELL TO HIS WIFE. 189 



Wine-glass, which Agnes had just set down. 
Take it, she said ; — I give it now a second 
time, and in a very different sense, to your 
Wife — as a Woman. 

Agnes was not to be seen. She lay at 
Home sick, and the Apothecary received 
fourteen Stivers, and the Monk who visited 
her, eight Stivers. She then packed up, and 
that signified to Albert that they were to set 
out on their homeward Journey to the dear 
familiar Nurnberg. 

She there buried herself in Loneliness and 
Fancies, which went on multiplying within 
her. The Words of Margaret operated very 
powerfully afterwards: and Agnes also mur- 
mured, because the Princess had considered 
him richly and well paid by these Words for 
many Works which he had executed for her, 
or presented to her. He had also presented 
to the King of Denmark, who was in Brus- 
sels, some of the best of his Engravings — out 
of respect. For it was a delight to him to 



190 



HOW ALBERT BIDS 



give pleasure to the World by his Works, 
and he lived to please every one. Only he 
should not give Presents to great people, 
thought Agnes. But in this he certainly did 
not agree. The Rich must pay for the Poor ! 
thought she. And so he was often obliged 
to bargain with a poor Purchaser of his 
Works for a few Florins more — instead of 
remitting the whole ! But — Harms Frei, his 
Father-in-law, had now lain for two years 
sick ; his Wife died, and a Sepulchre was 
built for them and Albert together ; and after 
the lapse of nearly two years, his Father-in- 
law died also. Agnes's Grief was thus 
doubly deep; for her Father had departed 
this Life in the midst of Reverses of Fortune 
almost beyond endurance, and her Life and 
her Strivings now began to appear to her as 
a vain thing. She had a House, and every- 
thing in it that was needful — a State-room, 
fine Clothes, a prospect for the future that 
could not fail her, Honour — as much as she 



FAREWELL TO HIS WIFE. 



191 



could wish, — but all too late, all not so much 
in unison as her young brain had settled it ; 
for this, in her opinion, was what every hu- 
man being should strive after as the chief 
business of Life ! Possession is dead, Striv- 
ing is alive ; and therefore Striving and 
Longing must be sufficient. To attain, is to 
pour Oil on the Sea of our Wishes : to at- 
tain too late, is pouring Gall instead of Oil. 

In these latter Days Melancthon had come 
to Nurnberg ; he was as it were Luther 's 
Secretary of State, and brought everything 
into a world-enduring valid Form, uniting 
the new Grafts to the well-cropped Trees 
with an Artist's Hand, so that the sap of the 
old Trunk might produce new and noble 
Fruit. Albert adhered to the Old Light 
which had arisen again in the New Time. 
He was accustomed to think as an Artist, to 
go back to the Source of Things, and from 
their formation, to the Mind which formed 
them; accustomed, when possible, to imprint 



192 



HOW ALBERT BIDS 



his Thoughts more beautifully and truly. 
These he then applied to the operations of 
the Mind of Man, and soon all was Light 
and Purity within. Now these men had 
excluded marriage from the Sacraments — 
Albert praised the new Creed in general ; 
and thus it appeared to Agnes that he ad- 
hered to it — in order that divorce might be 
open to him. She shuddered at the sight of 
Melancthon wherever she met him, and the 
difference of their Faith at last estranged 
Agnes and Albert. She now believed that 
they would inhabit different Heavens, that 
they had been made by two different Gods, 
and as her Mind was withdrawn from him, 
so was also her Life — and Marriage is pre- 
eminently a Union of Lives ! Oftentimes 
she lamented that he would be lost in Time 
and in Eternity, at which he smiled .* But 



* The honest evangelical Painter (for such alone are the 
genuine, the enduring, whose Works never become Chime- 



FAREWELL TO HIS WIFE. 193 



when he wished to adduce proofs to her, 
then she said : Get thee behind me, Satan ! 

These words stung him so deeply, after 
all the Grief he had endured, and all the 
kind intentions of his Heart, that he re- 
solved actually to go away from her, only 
not like him to whom she had compared 
him, but magnanimously, yea prodigally! 
Love likes to boast great things, likes to 
play the Queen, to appear rich, all-sacrifi- 
cing, divinely-joyful — and yet weeps quite 
humanly. And this justly. Love is suffi- 
cient to itself; what it gives it receives again 
a thousand fold as if from God; what it 



ras of the Brain) certainly acknowledged the sincerity of 
his Wife, who would willingly have known him happy 
here and hereafter; and he respected the uneasiness she 
had endured for Years, and which he had endeavoured 
to dissipate by loving Persuasion and by Reason; but 
Reason finds difficult access to those who are at en- 
mity, and almost more difficult still to those who love ! 
— W.P. 

13 



194 HOW ALBERT BIDS 



must do without it enjoys a thousand fold, 
by having a dreamy, soulful, sympathetic 
perception of the Enjoyment of the beloved 
object. Rare Power! Miracle of Nature 
— so natural to him who bears it in his 
Heart! The World is worth nothing to 
him who has this power ; but he who has it 
not cannot attain it if he would give the 
whole World for it — not for his own Exist- 
ence ; — or rather, he does not believe that he 
could purchase it therewith, because he dare 
not venture to throw his Existence away for 
such unwonted Gain. Yet let it be under- 
stood : Albert left everything to his beloved 
Agnes; he counted the Gold — there were 
six thousand Florins ; he looked over the 
Engravings, the Pictures — he left them to 
her. But he left to her also a more precious 
than all — namely, herself ; and, in her, his 
Existence, his Mind, his Love, which he 
regarded as nothing, just because she re- 
garded them as nothing. 



FAREWELL TO HIS WIFE. 195 



This Feeling made him so desponding, 
that he now also deemed as nothing that to 
which he had devoted his Life, and executed 
with so much love — his Art and his Works. 
Nay he even wished to go back to Hungary, 
to the little Village of Eytas from whence 
his Grandfather, Anton D'urer, had wandered 
to Numberg as a poor Goldsmith ; — there he 
would no more be heard of, — again foster- 
ing the Vine, planting Trees, cutting Branch- 
es, gleaning Grapes, as his Fathers, very wor- 
thy people, had done — also without a Name 
to leave behind. But — his habit of Industry 
did not permit him this even in his waking 
Dreams. Peace was all he now desired — 
Peace — Peace for his last best Works, which 
he had carried about with him through Life ! 
These must yet be completed ! They would 
yet bring many gold Pieces to Agnes ! For 
it never entered his thoughts to divorce her; 
— she would be happy when he was not 
with her — that he both wished and thought. 



196 HOW ALBERT BIDS 



For even if the new Doctrine had permitted 
it, still he was so accustomed to his old Faith 
that he perceived it was only they who adopt- 
ed the new as Children, who would one day 
put it into Practice in the affairs of Life ; — 
not this Generation. The only scriptural 
Ground for Divorce was also awanting to 
him ; for into the subtleties contained in the 
question as to the multifarious ways in which 
Marriage may be broken, his Heart did not 
enter, although they had often exercised his 
Thoughts. 

And so he parted for a time from his Agnes. 

It was a Saturday ; the day on which he 
always heretofore gave thanks to God for 
the often wondrously accomplished week. 
If he was not moved to this by the Current of 
the World, then, at his Evening Prayer, he 
was certain to be so. This reverential feel- 
ing on the Saturday arose perhaps secretly 
from the knowledge that it was the true an- 
cient Sunday. Therefore he chose this day 



FAREWELL TO HIS WIFE. 197 



for his Departure; for he certainly meant to 
do a good Deed. He was ready dressed, and 
had nothing in his pocket but a few Stivers 
for his Journey. Agnes yet slept. He ap- 
proached her Bed. He admired the Wife, 
who might have made him so happy. Ah ! 
and she herself appeared to be so miserable 
with him, and through him, that he wept for 
the first time almost aloud. He kissed her 
bare Arm which was lying on the Coverlet. 
She half opened her Eyes. 

— I am going! whispered he. 

God be with you! said she, as if in a 
Dream. 

— I will come again ! said he. 
But say that, I pray thee, to one of thy 
Friends also ! said she. 
I will ! said he. 

So then he took his Departure.* It was 
early Spring. The Morning Sun smiled on 

* Just sixty Years after this, W. Shakespear left his Wife 
and Children. — /, the Editor. 



198 



HOW ALBERT BIDS 



him as he left the House. He smiled in re- 
turn, when he looked at the double Eagle 
over the Gate. But when he had gone 
through the Streets in the still Morning, and 
had got out as far as Master Sebald's the 
Wheelmaker, who dwelt near the Sonnen- 
bade, and who prepared his wooden Blocks 
for him ; and when the Geese on the young 
grass hissed at him, and he saw the little 
bright yellow Goslings feeding in the Morn- 
ing Dew, then he leant on the Hedge of the 
little Garden ; and when by degrees he roused 
himself from his Reverie, he heard from 
within the House Master Sebald recounting 
to his Wife and Children and Comrades at 
breakfast a new Jest, which Master Hanns 
Sachs* had circulated among the people for 
the first time the Night before. The Wife 
and Children laughed ! that was a Dagger to 
his Heart. Ah ! there was Joy in this House, 
as well as in that of Master Sachs ! He took 



* A shoemaker and poet in Numberg. — Translator. 



FAREWELL TO HIS WIFE. 199 



Courage, however, entered and bespoke new 
blocks from Master Sebald to be ready when 
he should return from Flanders. And the 
Husband stood reverentially before him, his 
Cap in his hand ; the Wife kept her bare 
arms folded in her Apron, out of respect for 
him ; and the Children, as if almost afraid of 
him, stood clinging to her. He smiled — for 
he knew better! The Geese hissed at him 
again as he went forth, but he smiled — for he 
knew better! 

As the young Branches of the Vine with 
their green Tendrils often attain no Object 
around which to entwine themselves, and so 
bend back ; thus many of Albert's Feelings 
had not reached Agnes : as however in Au- 
tumn the Vine-dresser breaks off also the 
firmly fixed and now dried up Tendrils of the 
Branch, so he intended to tear himself loose. 
His separation had already lasted so long'! 
But it was only after many Years and with 
Pain, that his Thoughts and Feelings could 



200 HOW ALBERT BIDS FAREWELL, ETC. 



be severed from her. For that which ap- 
pears visibly in the World as a Work, or as 
a Deed, must all — long, long before — have 
existed and been ripening; and what in like 
manner the World sees of Undertakings are 
all Fruits which have fallen from the Tree of 
Life : — for the rest, the World perceives noth- 
ing but Leaves, and hears the rustling there- 
of ! Things bloom concealed — covered over, 
like the Fig, with its own leaf. Thus the 
Past comes to maturiiy only in the Present, 
and in the Present is sown the Seed of the 
Future. We often lose our Health for Years 
on account of a thousand little Errors ; we 
die in consequence of living. Sickness is an 
exertion of Nature to heal us, to restore to its 
natural Proportion all that has been endured 
or done amiss, and to allow us to expiate it 
by Suffering, in order that we may become 
wise for the Years that yet remain to us. 



PEACE IN LIFE. 



Albert proposed extending his Wander- 
ings so far as to secure himself, and his poor 
self-torturing Agnes, against a sudden Return, 
the desire for which seized him every eve- 
ning. He had in truth no longer been able 
to endure the sight of her self-torture; for 
what manly Mind, not burdened by the 
weight of a Crime against Heaven, would 
allow itself seriously to be bowed down by 
a Woman ! Women, indeed, never wish so 
to bow down a Man ; only they do not al- 
ways understand how to limit their desires, 
or on the other hand to forget them. Alas ! 
and Life demands so much from us, so much 
Endurance and Sacrifice! The worst of 
Life is, that we all live on this Earth for the 
first time. Everything is new ; no one gets 



202 PEACE IN LIFE. 



accustomed to the perpetual Surprises — at 
best only accustomed to be surprised. Even 
the old, the daily-recurring, finds us every 
day new and changed in Age, in Mind, in 
Likes and Dislikes, so that it often operates 
more strangely, more peculiarly than the new, 
to whose impressions we yet hesitate to re- 
sign ourselves. And thus to know how to 
live requires perpetual Genius — for Life is 
the highest of all Arts. Only no one believes 
this, because he fancies he knows how to 
live, as every one fancies he knows how to 
love, when he looks deep into the Eye of a 
beautiful Maiden. Alas! Love also is an 
Art — but it consists not in Raptures and En- 
thusiasm ; it is not to wander in the Moon- 
light, to listen to the Song of the Nightingale, 
to kneel before the Beloved, to languish and 
pine for her Kiss! No; this is the Art of 
Love : — to preserve its Fire, its godly Trea- 
sure ; to carry about its Riches through Life 
as if in pure Gold ; to spend it for him alone 



PEACE IN LIFE. 203 



to whom the Heart is devoted : to be always 

, i ' i ■ « . 7 . . , . tl - - 

ready to sympathize, to smile, to weep, to as- 
sist, to counsel, to alleviate ; in short, to live 
with the Beloved as he lives, and thus, by 
virtue of an indwelling Heavenly Power, to 
preserve invariably a Heavenward direction. 
And this Art is the highest, the tenderest 
Love. He who possesses it knows what 
Love is. The greater part of Men can sacri- 
fice Hours and Days and Wealth; but to 
bear and to suffer patiently for Years, never 
to consider one's own Life and Wellbeing, 
to pine away gradually, to suffer Death in the 
Heart, and yet to hasten to the Arms of the 
Beloved as soon as they are again opened to 
us, and then to be happy, yea blest, as if 
nothing had been amiss, as if no time had 
elapsed between that moment and the first 
embrace, — all this Love can do. It now ap- 
peared to Albert that he and Agnes had only 
been fettered by some inconceivable Power. 
This conviction gave him Courage. He ar- 



204 



PEACE IN LIFE. 



rived at it now for the first time — alas ! al- 
most too late for this Life, and therefore he 
wished there had been a Life for Man before 
this, in order that he might again live peace- 
fully, wisely, and happily ; since everything 
in the World and in the human Heart springs 
from Love — and no Man has thus any cause 
truly to grieve. For a noble Heart cares for 
nothing else than to be worthy of the Love of 
those whom he loves — and also worthy in 
general ; and no one can tell him this so well 
as his own Heart, judging even from a thou- 
sand Actions. Thus Albert saw that even he 
ought now to be satisfied ! and concluding, by 
his own Feelings, how his Agnes also must 
feel in her Heart, he attained to the Know- 
ledge, that everything is ordered by Love, 
and that we must improve the divinely-grant- 
ed Time, by bestowing it one on another. 
This Albert now intended honestly to do to- 
wards Agnes !* 

* Thou upright Soul ! how much thou hast reflected, and 



PEACE IN LIFE. 



205 



It was during his Wanderings that he felt 
these Convictions in all their force. 

He went to visit Lucas of Ley den. Even 
the Name of the Town attracted him thither.* 
During his first sojourn in Holland, he had 
formed an intimate Friendship with Lucas, 
and now, separated from his Wife, he both 
needed and recognised a Friend. And he 
found one in him. Oh! ever kind World ! 
thou hast Riches ready prepared for him who 
rejoices, as well as for him who mourns! 
How unhappy soever any one may be, Na- 
ture is always true to him ! 

He had thought it would be with him as 
with a shipwrecked Mariner, who, after hav- 
ing been long tossed about on the cold 
Waves till he is benumbed, finds himself at 

how much Cause hast thou had for reflection ! And thou 
wert now repenting instead of her! And Repentance — 
even that which is felt for others — leads to Acknowledgment. 
Thy Kernel remained sweet. — W. P. 

* Leiden— Suffering. — Translator. 



206 PEACE IN LIFE. 



last washed ashore on the flowery Bank of a 
lonely Island. But he now felt as if he had 
been washed by the Waves from the Shore 
out into the cold Sea ! Nothing was 
awanting ; everything was arranged for him 
in a comfortable and friendly manner. Clean 
Linen lay every Morning spread out on his 
chair ; his Clothes were brushed and free 
from every speck of Dust ; he rose, and 
went to sleep, whenever he liked ; he looked 
at the People out of the Window ; he went 
wherever he pleased. Oppressive Freedom ! 
To everything he was indifferent, all within 
him was so still and so monotonous ! What 
was there here for him to love ? To whom 
had he here every hour something to for- 
give ? Who was there here to make him 
sorry; he felt the sweet Power of Custom 
even in what is most bitter! He felt that 
Words are nothing, however mild and rever- 
ential they may sound, if the Soul of Love 
does not glow and breathe upon us through 



PEACE IN LIFE. 207 



them. And in Agnes' y s Words — which he 
now missed in his solitary condition — there 
was the Soul of a faithful Love, which was 
never weary in busying itself with him, in 
being angry at herself and at him, during 
the whole course of an irritable Existence ! 
Ah ! it was impossible for an indifferent 
Heart so to do — for it has neither the Will 
nor the Power to injure ! And he loved her 
— therefore he could not be injured by her! 
And thus the feeling of his Love to her was 
quite enough for him, and Life without her 
difficult, much more difficult to bear ! Ah ! 
we love perhaps a lively Child, and think it 
impossible that our Love for it can increase ! 
But it becomes sick — and we then know, for 
the first time, how much more intensely and 
also painfully we can love it! Then do 
new and more delicate Tendrils unfold them- 
selves as it were in our Hearts, with which we 
encompass it as Ivy does a half-fallen Statue. 
And if Agnes's Love for him was of the 



208 



PEACE IN LIFE. 



most extraordinary kind, still she loved him 
for all that ! That was the chief point. Her 
Love was like the warm Sunbeam, shin- 
ing in the Window of a Dome through a 
fiery-red Ruby- Glass, which, corroded by 
damp, reflects with its own also the varied 
hues of the Rainbow. And — Caprice is 
never without a Cause, and may not that 
cause be Disease ? And does not Disease 
call for pity ? Alas ! this, then, was what 
he could no longer endure ? And was that 
just? It is the greatest, the most injurious 
£ Wrong, not to believe in Nature. 

Here, far away from her, he had intended 
to work — at so many things, and so busily ! 
But his Thoughts were far away with her — 
banished to her ! Yet when he was with 
her, when she was wandering around him, 
then they could rove in the distance, could 
dwell where Thoughts and Images appear 
as in a Heavenly Dome full of Music and 
Incense, from which the Artist steals them as 



PEACE IN LIFE. 



209 



it were for the Earth. Here, dwelling in 
Leyden, his Sadness increased: he felt he 
could not be so happy anywhere as near 
his Wife ; yea, that it was only when he 
was with her that he was truly happy. — 
There are Conditions in which the Endura- 
ble, the Imperfect is the best possible for us ; 
and the Human Race is continually sub- 
jected to such a Condition. Do we desire a 
better or happier Fate ? God forbid ! Every- 
thing that is ours is the best for us; for we 
choose perhaps our own Lot ; but what 
we have chosen keeps us enclosed as iijj 
Walls of Steel all our lives — and for as 
much better as the Untried appears to us, 
still we can never attain to it, nor yet appro- 
priate it, because we ourselves are already 
become Property. Let us therefore endure* 
let us be faithful ! 

He was now in a condition to perceive 
wherein he also had erred! And Man never 
attains Tranquillity, as long as he believes 
14 



210 



PEACE IN LIFE. 



that he is right in all his Thoughts and 
Actions towards all the World ! But as 
soon as he begins to doubt, as soon as he 
once admits the pre-supposition that he may 
have gone astray — that he must take himself 
to task — then come Reconciliation with the 
World, Contentment and Peace, and with 
recognition of the Truth, and acknowledg- 
ment of his own Error, come also at last by 
degrees Satisfaction and Happiness to his 
Heart, which always speaks Truth to the 
Upright. 

I Lucas celebrated Albert's birth-day, the 
tlay of St. Prudentius, which his Agnes had 
so often taunted him with, when he spoke 
prudently.* Masters assembled from all 

* The 6th of April. St. Prudentius was hy birth a 
Spaniard, and fled from the swords of the infidels into 
France, where in 840 or 845 he was chosen Bishop of 
Troyes. He was one of the most learned prelates of the 
Gallican church. His writings are extant in the " Biblio- 
theca Patrum." — Translator. 



PEACE IN LIFE. 



211 



quarters, but from tender consideration for 
him, they had left their Wives at home. — 
Bitter ! 

It is always most agreeable for us Men, 
said Master Peter Gutschaaf^ the Illuminist, 
when we are quite among ourselves, and 
also for the Women when they arc quite 
among themselves ! We are certainly of 
two different natures, and in this way each 
has undisturbed and pleasant intercourse with 
those of his own nature. These words fur- 
nished Materials for a Conversation at Table, 
on Women, which was conducted however, 
with cautious consideration. 

Lucas had ordered two Bottles of lachry- 
mce Christi in honor of Albert. These he 
did not disdain to taste, and he had his own 
wonderful Thoughts thereby. For these 
Tears cleared away the Clouds from his 
Eyes! — they placed him in Spirit in times 
long bypast. He thought on the happy days 
that were gone, — and behold ! there sat his 



212 



PEACE IN LIFE. 



Wife, weeping in Nurnberg, weeping on his 
account, weeping for him ! Then he flew 
swift as an Eagle, back to his own Days, to 
the Present — and there he was in Leyden, 
sitting at Table opposite Master Peter Gut- 
schaaf whose rosy daughter sat beside him, 
always hanging tenderly on the Eye of her 
Father. He saw, in her his little Daughter 
Agnes now grown up, and he sighed, and 
the Daughter, the good little Lamb, looked at 
him and sighed also. For he knew well bow 
much Peter Gutschaaf had had to endure 
,at Home from his Wife — and yet Gutschaaf 
Jfras so very cheerful! — that was his Daugh- 
ter's doing. She was like the Oil between 
the Door and the Hinge, the mild L between 
harsh-sounding consonants ! She did not 
intend to marry, because she thought it her 
duty first of all to show her Love and Grati- 
tude towards her Father, before she loved 
any one else; and her Father assented to this. 
Albert pictured to himself his Agnes just as 



PEACE IN LIFE. 213 



tall and as beautiful, and that she would have 
been as kind, and that her Father would have 
been as fond of her. Ah ! — and then he 
called Death the bitterest Grief, and his Tears 
ran into the Glass among the Tears of Christ 
— and he could not drink. 

Drink, I pray thee, dear Master ! said sly- 
Master Dietrich, the Glass Painter ; drink ! 
The Wine which the Man drinks, restrains 
the Wife ; and ihe Wine which the Wife 
drinks, dishonors the Man. Just listen for a 
moment to what is going on across the 
street! There dwells a Straw Widow, sq 
called because her Husband has forsaken 
her: and who, in other respects of a Christ- 
ian and harmless disposition, wilfully draws 
upon herself many suspicions, in order to 
retaliate on him ; and he is just now cele- 
brating a jovial Banquet. I venture to say, 
that when he comes home she will make 
herself out to be in the right ! 

Oh! said Bernard of Orley, the Princess 



214 PEACE IN LIFE. 



Margaret's Painter, Women may be in the 
Wrong so prettily and sweetly, that one is 
doubly fond of them in spite of it — and they 
may be in the Right in such a bitter manner, 
that one curses even the sacred Truth and 
them at the same time. 

Dear Children, interrupted Master Eras- 
mus Desiderius of Rotterdam, one of the 
Guests, who was on his journey to Basle, I 
must read you a Lecture after a fashion of 
my own, and show you how foolish you are. 
Men think all their troubles come from 
Women, because it is through them without 
doubt that they attack them ! We must re- 
member that there are a thousand disagreea- 
bles in Life; and if we have Wives, then of 
course all sorts of Cares must be encountered 
in Marriage ; and every one must receive a 
tinge from it, as white Wine becomes red in 
a red cask. We are apt not to observe this 
sufficiently. A Wife cannot do us any harm, 
and as certainly as they are dear Creatures — 



PEACE IN LIFE. 



215 



so true is it that they will do us none. Yet 
there must be Cares! — And then, declaiming 
as if he had been still a Lecturer* in Oxford, 
he supported his position by the following 
Verses : 

Care dost thou despise ? It is the secret 

Confidential Link 'tween us and Nature ; 

Confirmed by it the holy Union is. 

The Husband Care endureth for his Wife, 

She in her turn for him : th' anxious Mother 

For her Child— the Child for her again. 

Each mortal Man hath care. The Poor, that he 

His frugal Morsel may obtain : the Rich, 

To keep the Wealth he has. For Nature 

Hath the Heavenly Father endless Care; 

For Rich and Poor, and Nature's Cares besides. 

Care is Love to the Earth ! He who without it lives, 

Ah ! knows he aught of Life ! knows and feels he thee, 

Thou ever sacred, ever bounteous Nature ? 



* The renowned Erasmus of Rotterdam spent some time 
both at Oxford and Cambridge, in which latter University 
he gave lectures on Greek literature, and held the Margaret 
professorship of Divinity, procured for him by Bishop Fisher. 
He was the friend of the illustrious More. — Translator. 



216 



PEACE IN LIFE. 



Master Dietrich did not wish to make any- 
subtle distinction between Care and Sorrow 
and all relating thereto, but Master Deside- 
rius, w r hose Symbol was "nemini cedo" (I 
yield to no one), refuted him by saying : 
There is Care in loving, Care in being be- 
loved, in living and in acting; there is noth- 
ing but Care among reasonable beings ; and 
because God has intended it so to be, I sup- 
pose there must be unreasonable beings — I 
know not where or from whence, but some- 
where in the World, at Brussels or at Ley- 
den, wherever they may now be sitting ! 
With reasonable people nothing leads to 
Sorrow and Unhappiness ; for the opposing 
Power of a courageous Mind scarcely allows 
Care to spring from the knowledge and ex- 
perience of the W T orld. Look now at our 
dear cheerful Peter Gutschaaf ! He does 
credit, yea even honour to his Name!* He 



* GutscJiaaf— good or patient sheep. — Translator. 



PEACE IN LIFE. 



217 



has only Care, and not even that ; for what 
he has at any time to experience of Life, to 
which the Wife belongs above all things, 
comes to him through the dear voice of his 
Daughter, and penetrates to his Heart warm- 
ly and refreshingly ! This is as it ought to 
be, and so may it always continue, dear Peter 
Gutschaaf; you are a true Man ! 

He held oat his Hand across the Table to 
Master Gutschaaf, and his Daughter also 
laid her little Hand therein, which seemed to 
have an agreeable effect on the suffering, 
self-denying, unmarried old Man, for he held 
her Hand a long time, and seemed lost in 
Thought. 

But he could not resist playing the Wag 
once again. 

For Master Gutschaaf, moved by the 
touching scene, poured out the whole of his 
sad Heart in these Words : Yes, I cannot 
help saying that he alone can be happy who 
has a Wife and Children! Others cannot 



21S 



PEACE IN LIFE. 



so much as be unhappy — not at least in a 
real, human, heart-rending manner! 

I certainly know nothing about such un- 
happiness, said Master Desideriiis. As for 
me, I commend all Wives ! 

And Bernard of Orley whispered audibly 
in the ear of Master Dietrich : — because his 
Mother was none ! 

To this Desiderius rejoined: My Father 
never married, and you know from the Scrip- 
tures that in Heaven they neither marry nor 
are given in Marriage. Now I put it to you 
all, my dear Sirs and Masters, who ought to 
know best, whether it is not just on this ac- 
count that it is called Heaven ? 

You know how to make for yourself a 
Heaven upon Earth ! said Dietrich. 

And you in like manner a Hell! rejoined 
Desiderius. 

Master Gutschaaf laughed till the Tears 
ran down his old pale cheeks. 

Dost thou not think, my little Susan, said 



PEACE IN LIFE. 219 



he, that it would have been a very bad affair 
for thee if I had not married? 

Very bad! said she assenting, and smiled 
abstractedly. 

And still worse for me ! said Gutschaaf. 

Still worse ! said the dear Child. 

But now all is well ! said he. 

Oh ! so well ! replied she softly. 

And the old Man wept for Joy. 

Long Life to you, Master Gutschaaf! — to 
you, and all your Relations, near and dis- 
tant! 

The whole Family of Gutschaaf long may 
they live ! exclaimed Desiderius. 

Long may they live! exclaimed all. 

Albert had poured out a Glass of lachrymae 
Christi for every one to drink this Toast. 
But his Neighbour Master Desiderius strange- 
ly but smilingly refused these Tears, saying 
at the same time : I have no Wife, good 
Master Albert. Rhine-wine is to me — the 
only Wine! 



220 



PEACE IN LIFE. 



The edge was taken from the severe 
Words of Desiderius, so that they cut not the 
Heart of Albert, by the conduct of the good 
little Lamb, who drank to her Father's health 
along with the others — and whispered across 
the table to Albert: I drink to my Mother 
also ! He then with Tears in his Eyes drank 
to the health of the Mother of his Daughter. 

The company then broke up, and the good 
Masters departed, according as each was 
pressed by domestic disquietude, at nine, ten, 
or eleven o'clock. Peter Gutschaaf remained 
the longest. Such an Honour had never be- 
fore been conferred on him, who was a mere 
Illuminist. His little Daughter wrapped him 
in his fur Great-coat, observed a Wine-stain 
on his Lace-collar, patted him on the cheek, 
kissed him and said very softly : Do not al- 
low the Stain to spoil your Pleasure ! To- 
morrow morning, before my Mother is up, it 
will be all washed out and plaited up again. 
Thereupon she lighted the Lantern, took 



PEACE IN LIFE. 221 



leave, pressed Alberts Hand, who with irre- 
sistible Sadness drew the dear Child towards 
him, took her in his arms, pressed her to his 
Heart, and kissed her on the Forehead. Her 
Father thanked him for the great Honour. 

Albert went sorrowfully to his Chamber. 
He threw himself on his Bed without un- 
dressing; the Lamp burned dimly, while he 
lay looking before him, his Fancy floating in 
half-waking Dreams. A Gust of the damp 
dewy Wind then struck upon the Window; 
he felt much oppressed ; and although he 
had not seen the door open, yet there stood 
his Wife before him in the middle of the 
Room ! 

Agnes ! art thou here ? exclaimed he, filled 
with astonishment. He gazed at her. She 
was so young, so fresh ; only pale, quite dif- 
ferent from Mortals ! The boundaries of hu- 
man Existence disappeared before him — he 
thought the form was that of his Daughter, 
whom the Earth so long before had snatched 



222 PEACE IN LIFE. 



away from him, now so perfect and so glo- 
riously grown up in the Gardens of Para- 
dise! And why should it not be so? But 
how was she then here ? Yet she was there ! 
That was the most blessed moment of his 
Life ! his Heart overflowed with Rapture ! 
He listened, expecting she would speak to 
him — would supplicate him to return to her 
Mother! For it was for this she appeared 
to be come ! — But ah ! it was not his Daugh- 
ter, for she would have smiled on him ; and 
this Agnes would angrily at him ! gloomily 
and reproachfully ! And yet big Tears stood 
in her Eyes. She seemed to wish to ap- 
proach him, she spread out her arms longing- 
ly towards him, but when he hastened to 
meet her, she pushed him away from her and 
fled. He wished to detain her, and caught 
her long flowing Hair in his hand ; he held 
her fast ; she bent back her Head yieldingly, 
as if to save herself from Pain. It then oc- 
curred to him that he might be dreaming; at 



PEACE IN LIFE. 



323 



the same time she uttered a loud Cry ; he let 
go his hold, and his Wife had disappeared ; 
the room was in darkness ; there was scarce- 
ly Starlight to be seen without, and the damp 
Wind swept past the Windows. 

He now perceived how deeply his Wife 
lived in his Soul. It did him good to con- 
clude from this Vision that his Agnes per- 
haps felt an inward longing for him! He 
hesitated now daily between staying and go- 
ing. He waited however the answer to a 
Letter he had written to Pirkheimer, in which 
he had recounted the above occurrence. 

The Answer arrived. Pirkheimer wrote 
that Agnes expected him of herself on St. 
Joint's Day ;* only she was very angry that 
he had held her so fast, and showed him 
some loose Hair, which she had probably 
torn out herself that Night in her anguish.f 

* The 24th of June, the day of the Nativity of [St. John 
the Baptist. It is also called Midsummer Day. — Translator. 
t I do not recollect whether I had not previously re- 



224 PEACE IN LIFE. 



Moreover Clara had returned Home, the 
Convent having been shut up; Agnes had 
renewed her youthful Friendship with her, 
and seemed relieved by speaking to her of 
Albert. As a Motto to the Letter, were these 
words of St. Chrysostom : " It is easier to 
rule a Nation than a Soul." 

Having now come to the resolution of 
returning Home and living out the Life ap- 
pointed him by God, Albert was a new Man. 
He also thought, especially now, that he had 
committed no Injustice by his Separation. 
The little word " and " was his Comfort : — 
He who separates from his "Wife, and mar- 
ries another, he alone does wrong. There is 
no one who leaves House, or Parents, or 
Brothers, or Wife, or Children, for the King- 
counted to her something of what Albert had written about 
the way in which he had held her in his Dream. I was 
very angry when I reproached her with her conduct, and 
had in consequence an attack of my old enemy the Gout. — 
W.P. 



PEACE IN LIFE. 225 



dom of Heaven's sake, who does not receive 
four-fold again in this Life, and in the World 
to come Life everlasting. But the Kingdom 
of God and his Righteousness, said he in 
parting from her, is peace and joy. And 
Peace he wished to leave with her, without 
thinking of Joy for himself. But that was 
now impossible. He scarcely stopped to 
refresh himself on the long Journey home to 
Agnes, for he could not overcome his Heart's 
Sickness, like one who forgets, plays, or 
sleeps away his childish Illnesses. 

It was, then, on the Evening of St. Johrts 
Day that Albert arrived at the fruitful Fields 
near Nurnberg. The setting Sun shone 
upon the Citadel and Towers of the City so 
warmly, so familiarly ! Ah ! there is only 
one beautiful Sun for every one, and it is 
that which rises and sets on his native City! 
In other Lands it is only a cold Mock-Sun, 
a wandering Star, the delusive Vision of the 
Home-Sun, which follows us like a Ghost. 

15 



226 PEACE IN LIFE. 



Albert intended to wait for the Twilight. 
His Thoughts swarmed forth, like Bees out 
of a Hive, when borne home from a strange 
Pasturage; they hovered around Flowers, 
blooming Linden-Trees, and golden Clouds, 
and his Soul began to muse, as in the first 
bright season of Youth. He ascended a 
Hill close by, from which he had a View of 
the Road. The Lindens towered aloft ; the 
well-known Stone-bench was concealed by 
the waving Corn, in which the note of the 
Quail was heard. He now advanced. His 
Heart beat ; he saw two Females sitting ; 
one leaning to the right and the other to the 
left. He approached softly — they slept ! — 
The one in the golden Hood and the Blue 
Dress was — his Agnes ! The other, in the 
simple white Dress and Veil, on which shone 
the rosy lustre of the setting Sun — was 
Clara ! 

Both had come out to meet him. Agnes 
wished perhaps, by the presence of the other, 



PEACE IN LIFE. 227 



to moderate Albert's Tears, or her own 
Words, and to show him at the same time 
that she was reconciled, that she was tolerant, 
that she would endure and love, what he did 
not hate ! 

He stood, and gazed upon them both in 
silence. What a Sight ! What Thoughts ! 

They did not awake, nor did he wish to 
wake them. He sat down at last between 
them, looked and mused, and, wearied as he 
was, he also fell into a Slumber. 

When he awoke, he perceived that his 
Head was resting gently on Claris Shoulder 
— for the golden Hood to the left was gone. 
Agnes had waked first ; she had seen him 
then in that position, in which he had found 
himself, resting — on her Friend, not on her 
— she had thought — Ah ! she was gone ! 
The saffron haze of Evening was now broad 
and faint on the Horizon — therefore she must 
have been long gone — Poor Soul! said he 
aloud ! 



228 PEACE IN LIFE. 

Clara awoke. Poor Soul ? asked she, 
rising ; was it not Albert's voice that spoke 
thus? He took her Hand. She missed 
Agnes, then held her Hand before her Eyes, 
and again leaning back, said for the second 
time with a low voice : Poor Soul ! And 
yet this also is a holy Evening ; for here is 
an Angel ! thought he, looking up thank- 
fully towards Heaven. Albert's House was 
closed. They now went silently wandering 
side by side towards the City. Clara did 
not raise her Eyes. He accompanied her 
home to Pirkheimer's House ; the door was 
opened, and she entered in silence. For the 
poor Soul could not say Good-night to him 
now; the words died upon her lips. But 
the old sad Smile was again seen upon his 
Countenance. 

He then returned to his own House, and 
looked for a time at some Children, who 
were catching Glow-worms. The door then 
opened. Susanna, who did not observe him 



PEACE IN LIFE. 229 



sitting on the seat, went past to draw water. 
He then stole away to his own room, and 
went quietly to bed with an Evening Hymn 
on his lips. 

Art thou still asleep ? said Agnes to him 
in the Morning on entering. She sat down 
near him on the bed, and held his hand, In- 
difference in her Features, but he felt that in 
reality her agitation was extreme. Breakfast 
is ready, she then said to him, with a faint 
smile. She contemplated her pale, emaciated 
Husband — then was heard the sound of the 
Death-worm picking in the wood of the 
bed ; she became deadly pale, put her hand 
on her Heart, and scarcely breathed — the 
Worm went on picking. She then gravely 
arose, and went from him with an averted 
Countenance. 

He now sat by her, as if nothing had hap- 
pened. Everything was as of old, Mind and 
and Heart, Joy and Sorrow. Only she had 
become more silent, as if speaking had for- 



230 PEACE IN LIFE. 



merly annoyed him. It certainly was a dis- 
tinguishing feature in her Character, that she 
said everything that others, more considerate, 
think, but do not express : for Woman is 
Woman. 

But he saw, notwithstanding — that she 
wished to improve, and that was a satisfac- 
tion to him. She had taken Susannahs 
Daughter, who was now grown up, into the 
House, and they all again ate at the same 
Table. She now begged his Friends to 
come often, very often, to see him ! In doing 
so, she cast her Eyes on the ground, and 
kept turning round the Golden Wedding 
Ring. She exchanged with him the bed 
that had the Messenger of Death in it, and 
now slept therein herself. All this was much ! 
But Habit was more ! She still took every- 
thing her Husband said to her as a Com- 
mand, and though within her rebellious 
Heart there was a powerful struggle, still for 
all that it was quietly done after the lapse of 



PEACE IN LIFE. 231 



some days. It is true that Agnes had rated 
herself very highly ; but who can blame a 
fallible being for this? For he is to be 
despised who, as a human Creature, does 
not consider himself as worthy of Estima- 
tion as any one in the World. Her beauty 
had heightened still more this estimate of 
herself — and yet Agnes had not rated her 
own value highly enough ! and the injured 
Dignity of Love had never allowed her 
clearly to perceive how much Happiness she 
might have imparted. She passed her Life 
under a continual sense of Injury, while the 
recognition of her Husband's Worth and 
Love might perhaps have extorted from her 
— first Obedience, and then Reverence. 

But her Thoughts were penetrated by one 
who had penetrated and turned those of 
many others besides, and animated them to 
newness of Life by the clearness and vigour 
of his Intellect. This was Melancthon. He 
came to Number g in the following May, to 



232 PEACE IN LIFE. 



preside at the opening of the Gymnasium of 
St. Egidius. The Silver Marriage of Ag- 
nes' s Sister took place also about the same 
time.* They all assembled at Church to 
receive the Blessing for the Golden Mar- 
riage. Melancthon stood before the Altar, 
Agnes and Albert next to the Pair. Pirk- 
heimer had perhaps thought that the Wives, 
listening in Silence, would receive a word 
of Warning from another, from a Stranger 
who spoke without design ; that a Hint is 
often sufficient to change their whole man- 
ner of Life, leading them thereby to look 
within, and in the Word spoken to see them- 
selves, clear as in a Glass. And all this 
without any exposure to the World. He 



* Allusion is here made to a custom which prevails 
in Germany, of having a grand celebration when a couple 
have been married twenty-five years, and this is called 
" The Silver Marriage." Another takes place when they 
have been fifty years married, and it is called " The Golden 
Marriage." — Translator. 



PEACE IN LIFE. 



233 



might therefore perhaps, as the Friend of 
both Husbands, have given a hint to the Ora- 
tor who had consented to preside, to scatter 
Seed which, besides growing up now, would 
certainly bring forth good Fruits in this City 
for Centuries. For Melancthon, without 
looking at Agnes, said to the assembly of 
Men and Wives and young Women, among 
other things, the following: — There is cer- 
tainly nothing more unnatural than a disobe- 
dient Wife. Slaves cannot obey, for they 
are not free ; neither do Children understand 
how to obey, for Obedience is the Key-stone 
of all Cultivation and Freedom, and the 
Fruit of Love and Reason at the same time. 

Where Obedience is awanting, Freedom 
fails also, from being an oppression to itself; 
Love too fails, or Reason, if not both. But 
every one must be subject to the Law which 
is given him. The Husband and Wife may 
certainly hold converse together as to equal 
Virtue and Honour, regarding their rank as 



234 PEACE IN LIFE. 



Citizens and human Beings, and of equal 
Protection of their particular Eights, — but 
not of equal rights ! because the Duties and 
Obligations of the Husband, his position 
with regard to the World and his native 
Land, are incomparably higher. Only those 
who are equal in reality have equal Rights 
before God and Man. Even equal Science 
and Art and Cultivation do not give a right 
to Disobedience on the part of the Wife ; 
much less Beauty, a white Skin, or bright 
Gold. For the Man and the House — and 
the Wife herself — cannot subsist, if she does 
not, from Love and sacred Respect to the 
ancient and divine Duty of her Sex, cheer- 
fully make the Will of her Husband her 
own. And let us consider ! As the Man, in 
his earlier Years, was often subject to many 
restraints, so was the Wife in like manner, 
before she entered his House. She must 
learn what is taught her; she cannot choose 
for herself her Station, her Fortune, her Oc- 



PEACE IN LIFE. 235 



cupations, nor even her Husband — for the 
delicacy of the feminine nature will in no 
age admit of this. She enters a Town with 
him, she enters the House in which he 
dwells, she undertakes to superintend the 
circle of domestic affairs, into which he has 
led her, and in which she must lead. She 
becomes thereby truly his Wife. She must 
take little Strangers to her Heart, foster them, 
and also love them — without having been 
able to choose them. And nothing of all this 
seems strange to her, for it is done in Obe- 
dience to sacred Nature, and thus blest by 
God. It seems quite unnatural to her to 
consider when and where she should be obe- 
dient to her Husband. He only silently de- 
sires it from the same Law of Nature ; and 
if this universal Mother has as it were com- 
manded Obedience on the part of the Wife 
by her Love towards her Husband, she has 
also lightened it, yea made it sweet and ani- 
mating; for the loving Wife scarcely knows 



236 



PEACE IN LIFE. 



that she obeys ; she does all for her Husband, 
before he even asks. It is only the cold, in- 
sipid, capricious, ungrateful, who feel the 
Fetters, because they are without Affection. 
A continually increasing Disobedience is but 
the decrease of the power of Love, and the 
decline of Amiability, and firmness of Char- 
acter — and this also on the part of the Hus- 
band. A Woman then loses her respect for 
a Man, because she sees in him no unselfish 
Protector ; for it is not the outward form of 
a Man which calls for Love and Respect — 
but the Nobility of the Soul, which alone can 
live, and inspire Confidence, as being in its 
nature lasting. He, however, who loves his 
Wife, allows her to rule and reign in her own 
department, because she is a Woman and 
his Wife, and when prudent and wise, un- 
derstands all these things better than he. 
What concerns himself, however, as the act- 
ing and reasoning Spirit of the House, that 
he has a Right to claim, if it be not done from 



PEACE IN LIFE. 



237 



free Will ; that is to say, from Reason. For 
he is Lord of the House, and the Father of 
the Children, the support of his Wife, her 
stay in Life, yea even after his Death ; as the 
Sun that has just gone down sheds its influ- 
ence on the Rainbow, which with its lovely 
and varied Colours hovers yet a while in 
Clouds over the teeming Earth ; till becom- 
ing ever dimmer and fainter, it at last by de- 
grees expires from beneath, but still beautiful 
and discernible even to the last faint trace of 
its Arch! But by Disobedience his little 
Kingdom is dissolved ; yea Cities and States 
secretly decline, w ? here the Man is not the 
Head of the House. For from Disobedience 
arises Opposition, and from Opposition Strife; 
and where Strife is, there Law and Happi- 
ness go to wreck. But where the Wife is 
properly trained and accustomed to Obe- 
dience, then the Man rules mildly, only ask- 
ing and counselling, being satisfied with the 
Knowledge of his Power. By ruling, how- 



238 PEACE IN LIFE. 



ever, he himself learns to be subject, and sub- 
mits to it willingly ; for he who does not find 
Obedience, where he should command it, 
relaxes again in his turn his obligations to- 
wards mankind in general. Therefore here- 
in also is the Wife the Guardian-spirit of her 
Husband, when the love with which her 
Heart is imbued impels her to Subjection, 
because indeed it would be a shame for her 
to command, to rule ! And even Obedience 
is scarcely so useful, as Disobedience is inju- 
rious, by the Self-will and Confidence in her 
own Wisdom which it displays. Obedience 
argues no want of Wisdom or title to Respect. 
No : this primitive Bond, which is the Glory 
and Security of Woman, can in no Age be 
dissolved, founded as it is on the Softness 
of her Nature, and calculated to produce the 
purest Happiness. Foolish Fear! through 
Obedience to sink down to the condition of 
a Servant ! It was by Obedience that Mary 
became the Blessed among Women. May 



PEACE IN LIFE. 239 



Happiness and Prosperity, then, be the lot of 
the obedient! of her who places implicit 
trust in the Will of another, whom she loves, 
whom she thereby makes happy, who meets 
her half-way, who knows not how to thank 
her sufficiently for all the Love and Kindness 
she is always so liberally bestowing on him ! 
How insensible must be the Heart of that 
Woman who is not satisfied with such a 
Reward ! 

Albert's Silver Marriage, which had taken 
place seven Years before, had not been cele- 
brated; no one came to wish him joy of it! 
The Day was spent in sorrowful Thoughts. 
He now observed, that when Melancthon 
pronounced anew the Benediction on the 
Couple, Agnes, who during the address had 
been dissolved in Tears, secretly clung to the 
dress of her Sister, that she might receive the 
Blessing along with her. As on the Day of 
her Marriage, one of her Cheeks was pale, 
the other in a glow. That she however 



240 PEACE IN LIFE. 



should consider the Blessing of this Man effi- 
cacious, was to Albert a Sign that she had 
returned to the old simple Faith, perhaps for 
his sake, knowing that he was attached to it. 
That moved him to his Heart's Core, and he 
also touched the Clothing of the old Bride- 
groom ! 

Returned Home again, Agnes wept, and 
that openly ! 

Albert's Strength was gone, he felt that it 
was so. And alas ! the Fear of his Death 
now scared away Agnes from him again ! 
When he began gently to speak of it, and to 
tell her which of his Pictures he considered 
the best ; for which — after he was gone — she 
should expect the highest Price; how she 
might be able to arrange this or that in the 
best manner possible for herself alone — then 
she was dumb and motionless as a Marble 
Statue, and he spent many sorrowful Days, 
till the Gloom that overspread her Existence 
passed away, and thereby Peace was restored 



PEACE IN LIFE. 



241 



to him again. Formerly he had to endure 
Grief on account of her Temper and Con- 
duct, till he could bear it no longer, and at 
last sunk under it by degrees: now she saw 
him borne down through her, and had to 
bear/«5 sorrow on her account, and her own 
fresh Sorrow for him! This only doubled 
his Pain, and could not now be redeemed. 
She silently did everything to please him, to 
comfort him, to cheer him for the Moments 
yet to come — but to recompense him for 
what ? for many long Years of Sorrow ! 
She now wished suddenly to make up to him 
for all, to impart Joy to him — but for what? 
for his Death. He was now therefore obliged 
to avoid being cheerful, and the poor Soul, 
alas! ceased in consequence in the end, 
either to try to enliven him, or to be cheerful 
herself — or even to appear so. And ihus 
they both sunk into Silence and patient En- 
durance. They only smiled upon each other. 
This was certainly the extreme of Wretched- 

16 



242 



PEACE IN LIFE. 



ness, which no one on Earth seemed to be 
able to relieve or remove — and yet it was at 
length removed, and his long oppressed 
Heart found — Peace in Life. 

For, softened by the quiet kindliness of 
feeling which had lately possessed her, Agnes 
now disclosed her real Feelings, but only 
gradually, at intervals of Days, and in broken 
Sentences. 

She had been playing one day in the gar- 
den with her little Brother Johannes; — he 
had put a small polished stone into his mouth ; 
finding afterwards a Bird's Nest, and holding 
in his breath for joy, he had choked on the 
Stone ; his Face became red, he sunk down, 
and kicking with his Feel, stared at her with 
glazed Eyes ; she hid herself, from childish 
fear; their Father, on coming home, had in- 
quired for Agnes before inquiring for Johan- 
nes ; — he went to search for her, and found 
him! When they were carrying away poor 
little Johannes to bury him, Agnes, looking 



PEACE IN LIFE. 243 



longingly after him from a window in the 
upper floor, had fallen over and struck her 
Head on the Pavement, and she let Albert 
feel the hollow, which was even perceptible 
to the Eye, from a slight depression of the 
Hair. Now it had been the fond Wish and 
Dream of the poor Girl, to build an Altar to 
the little Johannes, whose Life perhaps might 
have been saved — had it not been for her 
Flight — at which a Priest paid by herself 
should say Mass every Morning for him and 
for her.* 

She now also began gently to complain 
that she did not hear well when the Wind 
blew from Fu?-th.f 

* It appears then that Aynes's Frugality arose from Re- 
pentance, from Piety ! And she concealed it too, because it 
was a Catholic Piety, not wishing to confess it to Albert, who 
was Evangelical, that she might at least appear Reasonable 
to him, and not vex him by old Absurdities ! — W. P. 

t Ftirth is a village near Niirnberg, and this complaint of 
not hearing well when the wind blew from it, must be some 
local superstition. — Translator. 



244 PEACE IN LIFE. 



It then came to light by degrees that the 
Wind had certainly, during many fine Sea- 
sons, very often blown from Furth.* 

The conversation once turned upon 
Dreams, and it was remarked that any one 
could find out the most secret Thoughts of 
the Heart of another when he speaks in his 
Sleep, by seizing and holding him by the 
great toe of the left Foot ; — then he reveals 
all. Agnes had once — during the Honey- 
moon, when she heard Albert speaking in his 
Sleep, seized and held him by the great toe 
of the left Foot, had listened and heard him 
say : " The Serpent with the human Counte- 
nance pleases me not! — Potiphar's Wife is 
nothing more than beautiful! a great fault! 
An alluring Sin allures to Sin — Flight would 
here again be the most desirable !" 1 

These Words she foolishly applied to her- 
self,! when they were probably only a suc- 

* This Excuse may be admitted — W. P. 

t Thus the Superstitions of others may be destructive 



PEACE IN LIFE. 245 



cession of Images which he beheld in his 
Dreams. Vain as she was of her Beauty, 
she had preferred allowing a thousand men- 
tal Faults to be attributed to her, rather 
than one bodily. Her Frugality, as it was 
now explained — the spurring on to work — 
the brightening up of the Gold, — what else 
were they but the Penance of a pious Nature, 
seeking Atonement for a supposed Crime ? 

The Cheerfulness Albert had maintained 
during the whole of his past Life was gone, 
was now entirely lost — but his Life — by no 
means so ! His mental Faculties, his Fan- 



to us. It will never be well here, that is, on this side 
of the Mountains, till Superstition is also banished from 
the other side, that is, from among the Ultramontanes. 
There will be no peace till then ; for the Foolish are 
continually breaking and destroying Peace. To be wise 
alone is of no avail. Therefore he who has Reason on 
his side must not be silent; he must not remain inac- 
tive. It is from Heaven he has received his right to work ! 
—W. P. 



246 PEACE IN LIFE. 



cies, his Desires, had richly indemnified him, 
and he was enabled to impart to others the 
feelings of Pleasure which had been denied 
to himself — Ah ! and also the Powers which 
he still possessed, without having known or 
dreamt of them. He now became conscious 
of a new Faculty in Man, — that of being 
able to remodel the Past, according to his 
present Powers and Perceptions ! — a Faculty 
which almost of itself would demonstrate 
that Man is of Divine Origin. With the 
Torch of his present Knowledge he went far 
back into the Hall of other Days. Images 
in an innumerable succession of Chambers 
were there to be seen. And as he began to 
wander with his Torch, the old Forms which 
were resting there rose up once again, and 
they looked at him differently, and he looked 
at them differently ; they whispered to him 
and he whispered to them, what he now 
knew that he knew not formerly ; their 
Countenances were peaceful, and his Soul 



PEACE IN LIFE. 24? 



came to an Understanding with theirs ; and 
from the Cultivated of every Age he parted 
reconciled and with a Smile ; and he roused 
those of the following Age, and conciliated 
them also. But he himself was also to be 
seen there ! a poor, melancholy, embarrassed 
Man, who sat and painted in all the Cham- 
bers, and looked pitifully at him ! To this 
Self, daring all these long days so desolate 
and lonely, he also reconciled himself ; and 
his Forms all smiled now, arose, and wished 
to follow him through all the Chambers of 
the Hall of other Days, even up into the last 
Chamber — even out into the great Hall of 
the Sun — to Agnes^ where she now lived 
and breathed, a changed, improved, and es- 
timable being, and where he alone was per- 
mitted to wander — he, the living, the blest ! 
But they only looked after him and said : 
We now willingly remain here in the Hall 
of the Past; thou hast revived us, and poured 
fresh Water on us, like faded Flowers ! — 



248 



PEACE IN LIFE. 



Thou hast breathed a bright Soul into thine 
own dead Works. We thank thee that 
thou didst come down and dwell with us. 
Mayst thou be happy, till thou comest thy- 
self, or till thou dost arrive at the end of thine 
own Course ! 

He thus filled up again the spoiled Wine 
of his Life with fresh sweet Must, and it 
fermented and cast out the Dregs, and was 
palatable, although not so sweet as the Must! 

To see his Agues thus excused, was a Cor- 
dial to his Heart, and imparted Power to his 
Mind yet once more to flame forth. 

But with already broken Heart, he could 
ooly now direct her attention to the preserva- 
tion of his Works. He completed those that 
were only half finished, destroyed such as 
were no longer practicable, overlooked every- 
thing, and rejoiced in his Life. Even the 
saddest Year has sunny Blinks, and Seed 
thrives in good Ground even in a bad Year; 
and the Year is twice beautiful, — when the 



PEACE IN LIFE. 249 



Trees blossom, and when they exhibit red 
and yellow Fruits ; in the interval everything 
is uniformly green and green ! There lay 
now on the large Table the Fruits of his 
Labours ; his Work ; Instruction ; for the use 
of all Lovers of the Arts ; four Books on the 
Proportions of the human Body; the Great 
Passion ; the Revelation of St. John ; the 
Life of Mary; 104 Sheets of Engravings; 
367 Sheets of Woodcuts ; the whole of the 
Pictures in his own list were to the number 
of 1254 Pieces. The Scholars also whom he 
had trained arrived to see him ; one of them, 
indeed, was the Pope's Painter and Architect 
at Rome. He inspected the Medals which 
were struck in honor of him ; fifty different 
Likenesses were scarcely sufficient to supply 
the demands which came from all quarters. 
He was most struck with a Medal of him, on 
which were his arms: An open Gate with 
two Wings ; on the Crest a grown Man with- 
out Arms. Thus the Past may often prove 



250 



PEACE IN LIFE. 



an indication of the Future ! The open Gate 
was the Gate to Heaven. The grown Man 
without Arms was he, the Dead — What was 
there in his Life that he could now change? 
what improve ? It was God alone who could 
change the Peace he had found in Life, to 
Peace in Death. So farewell my Albert ! 
The Italians called thee Alberto Duro ! but 
that thou wert not, either in Art or in Life. 
— Thus Albert peacefully awaited Death, as 
he had peacefully lived. Almighty God be 
gracious to him, 

and grant him a happy End! 
* • # 



There sat I, poor Wilibald, leaning on my 
Hands and Weeping. The foreign Artists 
who had wished to serenade him, began to 
do so now, and in the Stillness of the Night, 
the soft Tones of the Flutes and Flageolets 
penetrated from the street till they reached 



PEACE IN LIFE. 



251 



my Ear and that of the dying Man. In the 
room under me, while I was reading, Agnes 
had sung all sorts of Songs in her Anguish, 
at last even a drinking Song! I could not 
smile at this. Albert had had the enjoyment 
of one cheerful Heart, and that was his own. 
He could not otherwise have known what a 
Treasure God has implanted in the Bosom 
of Man. His Wife had diligently digged 
for it, and brought the bright and shining 
Treasure to the Day. And how much he had 
accomplished ! I therefore now perceived 
that nothing can repress the energy of a true 
Artist, and that nothing is a Misfortune to 
him. He might — perhaps — feel better and 
easier in one way than another — but whatever 
is in an Artist's Soul is drawn forth by the 
World, whether it be in Rain or in Sunshine. 
And what he succeeded in was no Trifle — 
for that was his Life. If he experienced 
Suffering, it was because he loved, and that 
was better than being happy without loving, 



252 PEACE IN LIFE. 



— if indeed any one can be happy without 
loving ! Love always makes one's own Heart 
happy ; let every one rest assured of this. 
And he who is a genuine Artist is full of 
Love. A Woman always and everywhere 
marries the Man alone, and not his Trade ; 
therefore let every one boldly marry the 
Woman he loves, and let no Woman fear to 
marry an Artist, for she may be as happy 
with him as with another, even were she in 
all respects an Agnes. A Woman without 
Fault or Failing is an Angel, and will always 
be so in every situation ; yea, and what is 
more — will appear so ! But had Albert de- 
scribed himself as an unhappy Man in his 
married Life ? Certainly not. What had I 
perceived or discovered on reading it, but 
just the longing after pure Happiness? And 
the description of his Agnes had represented 
to me very vividly such a Wife as an Artist 
stands in need of, and better than I could 
have pictured to myself in the form of a 



PEACE IN LIFE. 253 



peacefully-happy Wife. And thus my Albert 
had had the best possible experience of a 
Wife. For as he himself as a Painter once 
said on the subject of Delineation, so it is } 
that in a Picture, Light first arises from 
Shade — that Light indeed becomes only pro- 
perly visible by means of Shade, and when 
we perceive that the bright Sun of Heaven 
shines through them. The great Lord of All 
could not have imparted to him a more vivid 
Conception of what the Wife of an Artist 
ought to be, than by giving him one, by giv- 
ing him his own, — one, who would have 
made an Artist miserable, had he not, as 
every one can and may, taken refuge in his 
Art, and in his own high and noble Thoughts 
and Feelings, as my Albert did. Thus was 
he nevertheless happy! For in every one 
who is unhappy, there lies concealed a Ca- 
pacity for Happiness, yea an inexhaustible 
Felicity of Soul, if he knows how to call it 



254 PEACE IN LIFE. 



forth ; and if he cannot do so, then he de- 
serves to suffer. Also Contrast was not 
awanting to Albert^ but he touched on it 
slightly and cautiously ; for there soared 
Crescenzia, and there hovered Clara also 
over him like an Angel, who wished to 
come down to him, but dared not. In the 
Deprivation of Happiness, lies thousand-fold 
Happiness. Albert thus learned what a Wife 
might be — and oh ! that they themselves un- 
derstood what they might be to a Husband! 
— and he lived it all in Thoughts and Wish- 
es, and revelled in the longed-for Enjoy- 
ment. Oh ! the sweet Charm of Life ! the 
ever Joy-inspiring race of Women! And 
thus I now looked upon him as happy! — 
happier than one who is led by his Wife all 
his Life, foolishly occupied with her Dress, 
her Vanities, her Pleasures, and her worldly 
ways of thinking. Agnes led him into the 
Depths of the Heart, led him daily back to 



PEACE IN LIFE. 255 



the Artist's only true and immovably-clear 
Source. Even a hard life is better for him 
than an easy one. 

By these Thoughts, thus excited, I was 
prepared to see our dear Mistress Agnes 
enter, whose Sufferings only in reality began 
with the Death of Albert. She now appeared 
at the Door. I went towards her, and took 
her Hand, which trembled. She followed 
me like a Spectre. She looked at the Mas- 
ter. She looked at the Child. The Flutes 
sounded on, so sweetly! so softly! Ah lit 
is at the hour of Death that Music is truly for 
the first time — Music ; in Life it is only a 
sound, awakening Remembrance of the Past, 
or Foreboding of the Future. Now it was 
truly the Call of the Angels from Heaven. 

A Messenger now suddenly and roughly 
entered the silent holy Chamber. He be- 
sought me to come Home. Clara — my poor, 
gentle sister Clara — was just dead ; per- 



256 PEACE IN LIFE. 



haps from Anguish and Fear that Albert was 
dying!—- for she had heard Agnes begging 
me to go to him. The shivering of the 
Glass, which Agnes knocked in, had drawn 
her to the Window over my Head. As I 
went out, she whispered down to me tender- 
ly : Do not be angry with him, my Brother! 
God be with you ! 

Alas! these then had been her last Words ! 
I wept bitterly. Why should I now go 
Home ? The Dead wait full of Patience. 

Albert had evidently heard the announce- 
ment that had just been made to me. He 
opened his Eyes. Agnes scarcely ventured 
to approach him : she showed as much for- 
bearance as to allow him to die in Peace, in- 
stead of grieving him once more by the re- 
membrance of all his Sufferings, which the 
sight of her would have called forth. She 
knelt at his Bed, concealing her Head. He, 
however, lifted his Hand, laid it on her 



PEACE IN LIFE. 257 



Head, and said with a faltering Voice : Fol- 
low thou me ! thou wert good — I have enter- 
tained an Angel. 

No ! I have ! sobbed Agnes, and I knew it 
not, I believed it not ! 

There thou wilt see into my Heart ! said 
he ; how I always told thee ; I was not gen- 
tle, not good enough — for I suffered, for I 
was full of Love 

He expired with the word " Love " upon 
his Lips. The Flutes sounded on, and it 
seemed as if their Tones accompanied his 
Soul to Heaven. In the Churchyard of St. 
John rests all that was mortal of him. 

Strew Flowers over him, oh Wanderer! 

THE END. 
17